Russian police detained more than 1,300 anti-war protestors in 50 Russian cities Thursday, according to OVD-Info, an independent Russian human rights group.
Anti-war rallies broke out after a military operation targeting Ukraine was announced. The human rights organization said most of the detentions, 660, were in Moscow.
The group said arrests were also made in Saint Petersburg, Novosibirsk, Yekaterinburg and other cities.
Russian President Vladimir Putin used a televised address to announce what he called a “special” military operation in eastern Ukraine, in response to what he termed Ukrainian threats. He warned other countries not to intervene, declaring they will face “consequences they have never seen” if they do.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the government was introducing martial law throughout the country after “Russia treacherously attacked our state in the morning, as Nazi Germany did in the World War Two years.”
NATO is bolstering its military presence to defend allied countries in eastern Europe, if necessary, the military alliance said hours after Russian forces invaded Ukraine.
U.S. President Joe Biden said the people of Ukraine were suffering “an unprovoked and unjustified attack by Russian military forces,” adding, “The world will hold Russia accountable.”