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Terrified Russian mother tries to calm her little girl after women and children are arrested


A haunting video shows a Russian mother trying to explain to her tearful daughter why they have been detained by armed police for opposing Vladimir Putin’s war.

They went to put flowers at the Ukrainian embassy in Moscow, and the children handed in ‘No to War’ posters they had drawn. But the mothers and children were all detained.

Sociologist Alexandra Arkhipova told of her horror when mothers Ekaterina Zavizion and Olga Alter and their children Sofya Gladkova, seven, Liza Gladkova, 11, Gosha Petrov, 11, Matvey Petrov, nine and David Petrov, seven, were held by Russian officers.

‘All of them were detained by the police,’ she said.

Russian children were arrested while carrying flowers and ‘No to War’ posters to the Ukrainian embassy in Moscow

The heart breaking moment a mother tries to calm her child who has been arrested and detained

A young child asks her mother if she will be let out of the police cell, as her mother tries to comfort her

The heart breaking moment a mother tries to calm her child who has been arrested and detained

 

Russian mother Ekaterina Zavizion (pictured) was arrested along with her children. She works as a sociologist

Russian mother Ekaterina Zavizion (pictured) was arrested along with her children. She works as a sociologist

The police were keeping them first in a police vehicle, and brought them to the Presnenskoye police station.

‘Phones were taken away from parents, and the policemen are shouting at the parents threatening these brave mums and their children, that the kids could be put into care right now, and these mothers would lose their parental rights.’

The video shows one of the mothers Ekaterina Zavizion and her daughter Sofya, seven, talking through the metal cage of a cell.

The girl clutches her mother’s hand through the metal grill.

The daughter is plainly deeply distraught .

‘They don’t want many people gathering in one space,’ explained her mother.

‘Why are you sitting there?’ Demand her daughter.

‘Everything is going to be good, do you trust me?’

The children were taken by their mothers to lay flowers at the Ukrainian embassy in Moscow.

However, the women – along with their children – were arrested and thrown in the police van, to be held by police overnight.

Mother Ekaterina told of the ‘hell’ she suffered as her children screamed and wept when they were detained.

‘I had watched videos showing the horrible inhumane bombing in Kharkiv – and realised I could no longer sit under a bush shaking and pretend nothing was happening,’ she said.

‘My heart is tearing with sorrow and pain.

‘I had the most peaceful intentions – to lay flowers in the memory of civilians and children who had perished in Ukraine.’

She wanted to show ‘we are not indifferent’ and that ‘we are dying here too from sorrow and pain.’

On being detained with her children, she said: ‘It was surreal, I was not prepared for it.

‘The children started screaming, it was hell.

‘God, I will never forget those minutes.’

She said: ‘Perhaps it would have been safer for my family to stay silent and not go anywhere.’

Photos first emerged when a Russian opposition politician shared heart-rending images of children detained in the back of a police van after taking part in anti-war protests.

Despite the Kremlin having no tolerance for dissent, protesters have defied Moscow and taken to the streets against President Vladimir Putin‘s illegal war in Ukraine, risking jail and even treason charges.

Almost 7,000 people have so-far been detained by Russian police in as many as 50 cities, according to OVD-Info – an organization that tracks protests in the country. 

The pictures show at least three children – no older than Primary School age – sitting in the back of a Moscow police van holding flowers and banners.

One girl is shown holding a sign that says ‘No War’ in Russian. Small Russian and Ukrainian flags have been painted around the words. To the right, the two flags are drawn followed by a small pink heart, to says ‘Russia plus Ukraine equals love’.

A Russian opposition politician has shared heart-rending images of children (pictured) detained in the back of a police van after taking part in anti-war protests

A Russian opposition politician has shared heart-rending images of children (pictured) detained in the back of a police van after taking part in anti-war protests

The girl is shown sitting on a chair in the back of a police van with a blank expression, with two children sat either side of her, who also both appear calm despite the circumstances.

A girl to her left is shown in a pink puffer jacket and mittens holding a bunch of flowers and another banner, while a boy to her left has his backpack at his feet.

Another photo shows the girl in the pink jacket standing up against metal bars that are keeping them inside the van. Her face is red, as if she had been crying.

The other children can be seen behind her, as can what appear to be at least two Russian police officers dressed in black uniforms.

Officers in the same uniforms have been seen in Russian cities cracking down on protesters and bundling them into vans.

The children were taken to a police station. She can be seen sitting on a chair next to a desk, where a woman in police uniform and a mask is working on a computer.

The ‘no war’ banners they were holding are laid out on the desk behind the girl, as is one of her flowers.

It’s already dark outside, as the children are being detained overnight. 

According to photographs shared on Tuesday by opposition politician Ilya Yashin, children are among those that have been snatched by officers

The pictures show at least three children - no older than Primary School age - sitting in the back of what is reportedly a Moscow police van holding flowers and banners

According to photographs shared on Tuesday by opposition politician Ilya Yashin, children are among those that have been snatched by officers. The pictures show at least three children – no older than Primary School age – sitting in the back of what is reportedly a Moscow police van holding flowers and banners

People gather to stage anti-war protest in Saint-Petersburg, Russia on March 1, 2022.

People gather to stage anti-war protest in Saint-Petersburg, Russia on March 1, 2022.

Police officers detain a demonstrator during a protest against Russia's invasion of Ukraine in central Saint Petersburg on March 1, 2022

Police officers detain a demonstrator during a protest against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in central Saint Petersburg on March 1, 2022

Ilya Yashin is a former politician who was banned from running for office in 2021 because he branded an ‘extremist’ for, be believes, his support of Russian opposition leader Alexi Navalny. 

He posted the pictures to social media on Tuesday night, writing on Facebook: ‘Nothing out of the ordinary: just kids in paddy wagons behind an anti-war poster. This is Putin’s Russia, folks. You live here.’

He continued to predict that the ‘Kremlin propaganda machine’ would blame the children’s parents, telling people not to involve their kids in politics.

But Yashin said that was irrelevant. ‘Many generations in our country (are) taught from the school bench that the worst thing is war, and the main value is the peaceful sky above the head,’ he wrote.

He recalled his own time as at school, saying he and his classmates would draw anti-war posters. ‘And that’s ok!’ he added. ‘Children against war is damn normal!’ 

Meanwhile in Saint Petersburg, another night of protests saw police cracking down on anti-war demonstrations on Tuesday.

On Sunday alone, police arrested 1,700 protesters across 46 Russian cities, OVD-Info reported. Pictures from Moscow and Saint Petersburg showed officer grabbing protesters and carrying them to police vans.     

Nearly 7,000 people have now been detained in antiwar protests across Russia since Thursday

Nearly 7,000 people have now been detained in antiwar protests across Russia since Thursday

Pictured: A protester is dragged away by Omon paramilitary members during a demonstration in Moscow on Sunday

Pictured: A protester is dragged away by Omon paramilitary members during a demonstration in Moscow on Sunday

Russia’s feared Omon paramilitary thugs have been seen on the streets to stamp out any opposition to Putin‘s invasion of Ukraine.

The helmeted cosmonauts in camouflaged riot gear have been seen regularly dragging away demonstrators.

Protests against the invasion started Thursday in Russia and have continued daily ever since, despite the Omon and police moving swiftly to crack down on the rallies. 

The Kremlin has sought to downplay the protests, insisting that a much broader share of Russians support the assault on Ukraine.

But younger tech-savvy Russians with access to independent media have been voicing their opposition to the Kremlin’s invasion, risking jail and even treason charges.  

On Tuesday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called on the UN’s top human rights body to hold Russia accountable for its invasion of Ukraine.

The top US diplomat also singled out Russia in recorded remarks delivered to the Human Rights Council for repression within the country, citing reports that thousands of protesters in Russia who were opposed to the invasion had been detained.

Blinken urged the council Tuesday to send a message that Russian President Vladimir Putin should unconditionally stop the ‘unprovoked attack’ and withdraw its forces from Ukraine.

‘We must condemn firmly and unequivocally Russia’s attempt to topple a democratically elected government and its gross human rights abuses and violations of international humanitarian law, and we must take steps to hold the perpetrators accountable,’ he said.



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