Russian Protests

Global conflicts have arisen after Russian President, Vladimir Putin, has begun to invade Ukraine. Russia is attempting to take Ukraine under its rule through an aggressive military campaign including invasions and bombings. This has resulted in many casualties amongst not only military personnel, but Ukrainian citizens. In response to this, countries around the world have imposed economic sanctions on Russia. For example, the United States and European countries made the consecutive decision to remove Russia from SWIFT, a system that streamlines global transactions.

The actions of Russia caused global unrest and has sparked protests in countries across the world. While the War was started by the Russian government, many of its citizens share the opinion with the rest of the world that this is unnecessary and inhumane. According to a poll conducted of Russian public opinion, 46% of citizens are in firm support of the War, while 23% disapprove. It is important to note that these results could be skewed due to fear of persecution from the Russian government.

Some of the Russian civilians have gathered in protest against the military actions. Thousands have participated in these demonstrations, which is especially remnant of the discontent of these actions as such protests are illegal in Russia. On the weekend of March 5th, almost 5,000 protesters were arrested by Russian authorities. As of March 7th, a total of over 13,000 had been arrested since February 24th, when Russia first invaded Ukraine. Many of those who have been detained were mistreated in custody as well. There have been reports of officials refusing to allow lawyers to visit, among citations of torture and mistreatment.

Russian authorities have attempted to control anti-war sentiments in the media. Thirteen journalists were detained on March 6th, and police officers have stopped citizens on the street to check their phones for pictures and videos of protests. The Russian government has passed two laws criminalizing independent war reporting and war protests, punishable by up to 15 years in prison. Because of this, Western media organizations have stopped covering Russian operations.

The sanctions imposed on Russia by foreign countries could have a dramatic effect on the lives of Russian citizens. The economy of Russia is shrinking dramatically and is estimated to shrink up to 7%. The Ruble is quickly losing value, which has led many Russian citizens to participate in bank runs to convert their money to more stable goods that will hold their value. This financial crisis will likely cause more unrest amongst Russian citizens and place more pressure on Russian authority.


Sources:

https://www.npr.org/sections/money/2022/03/08/1084280072/how-sanctions-are-pinning-down-the-russian-economy

https://www.vox.com/2022/2/23/22948534/russia-ukraine-war-putin-explosions-invasion-explained

https://www.npr.org/2022/03/07/1084967986/russia-arrests-more-protesters

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