At least 4,640 anti-war protesters were arrested on Sunday in 56 cities across Russia, the independent human rights organization OVD-Info says.
In Russia, spontaneous mass demonstrations are illegal. There have been daily anti-war protests since Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, and it's estimated that at least 13,000 protesters have been detained in 147 cities.
Videos of the arrests are circulating on social media, including some showing protesters getting hit by police officers with batons. The Washington Post reports that in one video, a woman is heard telling an officer, "We have relatives, we have friends in Ukraine." Russian President Vladimir Putin has justified his invasion of Ukraine by claiming it is to "denazify" the country, and the officer replied to the woman, "You come to support fascists?" Members of the crowd responded, "What fascists?" The officer then ordered his colleagues to "arrest everyone."
OVD-Info says 113 minors and 13 journalists are among the people arrested on Sunday. Earlier in the day, Russia's interior minister said more than 3,500 people were arrested "for taking part in unauthorized rallies," adding that law enforcement will continue to target these anti-war protests.