Russian authorities are cracking down on a network of feminist anti-war activists, Amnesty International said on Wednesday, accusing one woman of "discrediting the Russian Armed Forces."
Artist and musician Aleksandra Skochilenko was detained on Monday after she went to grocery stores in the Saint Petersburg area and replaced price tags with anti-war messages, Amnesty International said. Prosecutors allege Skochilenko committed an act of "political hostility" that "disseminated false information" about the Russian military, and she's been charged with "discrediting the Russian Armed Forces."
Skochilenko will remain in custody until her trial on June 1, and faces up to 10 years in jail, Amnesty International said. Her attorney said Skochilenko was turned in to police by another customer. The idea to replace supermarket price tags with anti-war messages was promoted by the Feminist Anti-War Resistance (FAS) group, which was founded the day after Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24. FAS members have also stamped currency with anti-war slogans and printed out and distributed articles from independent media outlets.
FAS says that at least 100 women activists have been detained, arrested, searched, or threatened by law enforcement. Amnesty International's director for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Marie Struthers, said in a statement that Russian authorities "continue to wage war against the human rights of Russian people. All activists detained for peacefully participating in acts of anti-war dissent must be immediately and unconditionally released. Cracking down on this feminist-led anti-war movement represents yet another desperate attempt to silence criticism of Russia's invasion of Ukraine."