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More women than men at the protest in Moscow – one by one, they were thrown into police vans

Moscow’s protest was so small that it was almost impossible to see the few people who had the nerve to go to the spot at the appropriate time. But police know their way.

People who had been standing around and doing nothing were taken away one by one and placed in police vans. Women are more likely to be arrested than men, but there is also a chance that draft notices could be issued at detention centres tonight.

It’s not worth talking to protesters because they will be identified by a camera and taken away.

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Protests broke out in Russia

As she was being dragged along, one woman shouted “we’re not meat!” A wheelchair-bound woman holding a sign that said “Do you want be like me?”

Although the police took it from her, she was allowed to keep it.

We spoke to a female medic who was far from the action. She said that she would treat anyone she needed, even though she hadn’t been called up for treatment – which many other medics have. She said that she was disappointed with her government.

“Can protest make a difference?” “Can protest make any difference?” I ask.

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She said, sadly, “Ten years ago maybe.” “Not now.”

Near the rally, Donbas residents were voting at a polling place set up in the newly opened embassy of Donetsk People’s Republic. If Russia declares Donbas a part its territory, they won’t need an embassy anytime soon. This will almost certainly happen next Tuesday after polls close. These “referenda” have no legal basis, but it didn’t matter to the eager voters we met.

We are not against Putin. We are for Russia’s reunification. One woman said, “We love it, adore, and we just want to be together.” “During those eight years Donbas experienced so much. You would be shocked at how many bombs they dropped on us and how many times they bullied us.

Another woman, apparently furious at the fact that I am from the UK, says “Inform your leaders that Biden is an killer, a bloody killer. Biden and Zelenskyy.” “You want to tell Britain what I have to say? Stop granting weapons to Ukraine. Stop it! “We are saving our children, but they are being murdered.”

Although their children might see Russia after Putin as they grow up, the legacy he leaves behind is dark.

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Protesters against mobileisation chant: “We are not meat”

We return to the protest site to check on what is happening, and a young girl approaches us clutching something in her jumper. “Can you film me? She asks, “I have a placard.”

We tell her that she will be arrested immediately. “That’s all I want.”

She raises the placard. In Russian, it says “I’m afraid”. I tell her that it is brave of me to do this. The police arrived.

She said, “It’s better than to be in today’s Russia” as she was being carried away by her parents.

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