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The Russian Investigative Committee, a Russian federal agency tasked with investigating various matters of corruption, has warned its citizens not to participate in any anti-war protests after President Vladimir Putin announced Wednesday night that Russia would be launching a “special military operation” in Ukraine.
Since that announcement, Russia has launched a full-scale invasion into the Eastern European nation, drawing ire and condemnation from around the globe with world leaders promising to prepare an appropriate response in Ukraine’s defense.
On Thursday, CNN reported that Russia issued a statement warning that Russian individuals in connection “with the spread of calls for participation in riots and rallies related to the tense foreign policy situation,” would suffer “negative legal consequences” such as prosecution and criminal liability.
“It should be remembered that holding a criminal record holds negative consequences and leaves a mark on the person’s future,” the Russian committee also said.
According to foreign affairs reporter Guy Elster with Walla News, Russia has already arrested one anti-war activist.
“#BREAKING #Russia detains opposition activist Marina Litvinovich who called for anti-war protests in Moscow,” Elster tweeted.
— Guy Elster (@guyelster) February 24, 2022
There were reports on social media of minor peace protests across Russia, with demonstrators chanting various slogans.
“In the center of Yekaterinburg, people are chanting ‘No to war!’” tweeted Lyubov Sobol, a prominent critic of the Russian government.
В центре Екатеринбурга люди скандируют «Нет войне!» pic.twitter.com/leeJbEC2tI
— Соболь Любовь (@SobolLubov) February 24, 2022
Earlier on Thursday, The Daily Wire reported that Russia claimed to have destroyed 74 Ukrainian facilities, including 11 airbases:
The Russian government claims to have destroyed 74 Ukrainian facilities, including 11 air bases, during the first night of its full-scale invasion of the Eastern European nation of Ukraine. The announcement comes as Ukraine is calling upon all international partners to assist in the war effort while arming all Ukrainians who want to fight with firearms. In addition, Ukraine is reporting that it has downed a half-dozen Russian aircraft.
The Associated Press reported Thursday morning that “Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu ordered that Ukrainian servicemen be treated ‘with respect’ and those who lay down their weapons offered safe corridors,” after he announced that 74 facilities had been destroyed.
That development comes on top of the fact that Ukraine is encouraging its citizens to join the war effort, offering any individual willing to fight their very own firearm:
“We will give weapons to anyone who wants to defend the country. Be ready to support Ukraine in the squares of our cities,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a statement. “We will lift sanctions on all citizens of Ukraine who are ready to defend our country as part of territorial defense with weapons in hands.”
As the violence continues, the U.S. State Department has also suspended its presence in Ukraine.
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