Putin wants a war, but the people do not. Russians gathered in over 44 cities to protest the war on Thursday, despite knowing that there would be consequences. The Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs vowed to take “all necessary measures to ensure public order.” Russia has notoriously harsh protesting laws and any opposition to the Kremlin is instantly stifled.
“One should be aware of the negative legal consequences of these actions in the form of prosecution up to criminal liability,” the Ministry noted. “The Russian Interior Ministry warns that any provocative actions, aggression toward police officers, and failure to obey their legitimate demands will be immediately prevented. People committing such offenses will be detained and held liable.”
Despite the warnings, people took to the streets to demand peace. Independent monitoring group OVD-Info believes that at least 850 people have been arrested so far, and that number is rising by the hour. Anyone opposing the war will be detained, as reports are surfacing of police visiting activists’ homes.
This is exactly what Trudeau did to the people protesting in Canada. From an outsider’s perspective, it may seem like everyone supports a government’s actions be it vaccine mandates or war. The truth of the matter is that the people have no say in the matter. Russians do not necessarily want a war, but the people representing them do.