Police in Russia have arrested five children aged between 7 and 11 for protesting against the invasion of Ukraine.
The children, who were on their way to lay flowers outside the Ukrainian Embassy in Moscow, were carrying anti-war signs when they and their mothers were detained. The two women and children were put in a van and transported to a nearby police station.
The news of their arrest was first reported on Facebook by Alexandra Arkhipova, a lecturer at Russian State University. Arkhipova claimed on Facebook that at the station, officers threatened the parents by saying they would take the children away and place them in permanent care.
The children remained at the station for several hours before they were eventually released last night.
Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the government has arrested thousands of Russian anti-war protesters across major cities as Putin looks to clamp down on dissent, including shutting down several of the country’s last independent media organisations.
Most of the demonstrations have taken place in Moscow, where riot police have been used to drag protesters off the streets. Hundreds have also gathered in the centre of Putin’s home city of St. Petersburg, carrying anti-war banners and chanting “no to war”.