A Russian woman was arrested after protesting a war for 7 seconds
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When Yulia Zhivtsova was arrested, she was only at a protest against Russia’s involvement in the war in Ukraine.
“You just show this sign, and you’re in a police car. Right?” She said on NewsNation’s “Morning in America.” “It’s very soft.”
It’s not the first time she’s been arrested for speaking out about the war between Russia and Ukraine, and she wasn’t the only one. The Guardian reports that more than 1,300 people in Russia were arrested in protests across the country on Wednesday, as “unauthorized demonstrations” are illegal under Russia’s anti-protest laws.
Zhivtsova said she has been protesting “since day one” – February 24, when Russia first entered Ukraine.
Although the protests became more frequent as the war continued, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s order to mobilize part of Russia’s reserves gave them new energy, Zhivtsova said.
Officials said the total number of reserves could be as high as 300,000. A large number of Russians have already rushed to book one-way tickets outside the country, because of the organization, which has led to flights being filled and ticket prices skyrocketing. Many were prompted by the fear that the Russian border would be closed, or that Putin would announce a mass call to send more Russian men to the front lines of the war.
“No one wants their fathers, their brothers, their family to go to war,” said Zhivtsova.
Zhivtsova herself has a 14-year-old son. Although he is not yet old enough to fight, Zhivtsova is becoming more and more sensitive as he gets older.
“It was his birthday yesterday, and it suddenly occurred to me that that’s the age at which young Russians get their first passport,” she said. “I was like, ‘Oh, my God, he’s a big man now. So when is he going to be? So yeah, that was scary.””
Before, the protesters tried to defend Ukraine – “Everyone was shocked by the fact that we are fighting each other, our neighbors,” said Zhivtsova. Now, she said, anti-Russian activists know that they are not only fighting for the people of Ukraine – but also for their own citizens.
“It changes the situation significantly,” said Zhivtsova. “And if I can somehow inspire other people to get outside, that’s what I do.”
The latest protest was the fourth time Zhivtsova was arrested. She said that the first time people are arrested for protesting, they often face fines. However, arrests are increasing, however, so are the consequences, including more fines and possible prison, or even prison, time.
Zhivtsova has appealed several of her previous arrests, so, “They still don’t take effect.”
“Two days ago, I really didn’t face jail, but I’m not sure about the next time,” she said.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.
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