Prominent Russian activist arrested after anti-war protest in Moscow | Russo-Ukrainian War

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Oleg Orlov, of the now banned human rights group Memorial, held up a banner in Red Square to protest Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Oleg Orlov, a prominent Russian human rights activist, was arrested after leading an individual protest in Moscow’s Red Square against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Members of Memorial, a now banned human rights organization of which Orlov had been one of the leaders, shared video on Sunday of him holding a banner before being led away by police.

The sign read: “Our refusal to know the truth and our silence make us conspirators in this crime.

Human rights group OVD-Info also reported another lone protester – a man arrested outside Moscow City Hall for wearing blue and yellow, the colors of the Ukrainian flag.

OVD-Info, which monitors political arrests, says more than 15,000 people have been arrested at rallies across the country to protest the war.

Protesters who take to the streets risk fines and possible jail time.

Oleg Orlov’s front door was previously painted with the letter ‘Z’ – a symbol used to show support for Russia’s military action in Ukraine – and a sign reading ‘collaborator’ [Courtesy of Oleg Orlov/AFP]

According to Memorial, this was Orlov’s fourth arrest in recent times. His lawyer is with him.

In recent weeks, a number of activists have reported acts of intimidation, including the vandalism of their homes.

Orlov himself had his front door tagged with “Z” and his photo pasted with the word “collaborator”.

The Z symbol is widely used by Russian authorities and Putin supporters, decorating building facades, bus doors, car windshields and T-shirts.

In late December 2021, Russia’s Supreme Court ruled that Memorial should be closed, part of a broad crackdown by authorities against rights activists, independent media and opposition supporters.

Prosecutors had accused the Moscow-based Memorial Human Rights Center and its parent organization, Memorial International, of violating Russia’s “foreign agents” law.

The court ruled in favor of the prosecution, who charged during the hearing that Memorial “creates a false image of the USSR as a terrorist state, whitewashes and rehabilitates Nazi criminals”, referring to the Soviet Union.

Memorial, which has spoken out against a crackdown on critics under Russian President Vladimir Putin, dismissed the lawsuit against him as politically motivated.

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