2014 anti-war protests in Russia

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Anti-war protests in Russia
Part of the 2014 Crimean crisis
and Russian opposition protest rallies
Марш за мир и свободу (2).jpg
At least 30,000 people with Russian and Ukrainian flags, flags of political parties and peace symbols.
Date 2 & 15 March, 21 September 2014
Location Moscow & Saint Petersburg,[1] Russia
  • Military withdrawal of Russia from Ukraine
  • Demonstrations
  • Internet activism
Parties to the civil conflict
Lead figures
  • Ministry of Defence, 2 March: 130[2]
  • Manezhnaya Square, 2 March: 230[2]
  • Moscow, 15 March: 30,000 (Reuters), 100,000 (Russian opposition), 3,000 (Moscow police)[3]

Anti-war demonstrations opposing the 2014–15 Russian military intervention in Ukraine have been ongoing. Protesters held two rallies on 2 March. The 15 March anti-war protests, named the March of Peace (Russian: Марш Мира), took place in Moscow a day before the Crimean referendum. The protests have been the largest in Russia since the 2011–13 Russian protests by the Russian opposition against the alleged electoral fraud committed by United Russia during the 2011 Russian legislative election. Reuters reported that 30,000 people participated in the 15 March demonstrations.[3]


On March 1, five people who were picketing next to the Federation Council building against the invasion of Ukraine were arrested.[4] The next day about 200 people protested at the building of the Russian Ministry of Defense in Moscow against Russian military involvement.[5] About 500 people also gathered to protest on the Manezhnaya Square in Moscow and the same number of people on the Saint Isaac's Square in Saint Petersburg.[6] On March 2, about eleven protesters demonstrated in Yekaterinburg against Russian involvement, with some wrapped in the Ukrainian flag.[7] Protests were also held in Chelyabinsk on the same day.[8] The opposition to the military intervention was also expressed by rock musician Andrey Makarevich, who wrote in particular: "You want war with Ukraine? It will not be the way it was with Abkhazia: the folks on the Maidan have been hardened and know what they are fighting for – for their country, their independence. [...] We have to live with them. Still neighborly. And preferably in friendship. But it's up to them how they want to live".[9] The Professor of the Department of Philosophy at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations Andrey Zubov was fired for his article in Vedomosti, criticizing Russian military intervention.[10]

On 2 March, one Moscow resident protested against Russian intervention by holding "Stop the war" banner, but he was immediately harassed by passers-by and when the police was arresting him, a woman offered them fabricating a serious charge (beating up a child) against him; however, the proposal was rejected by the police.[11] Andrei Zubov, a professor at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, who compared Russian actions in Crimea to the Anschluss of Austria, was threatened. Akexander Chuyev, the leader of the pro-Kremlin Spravedlivaya Rossiya party, also objected to Russian intervention in Ukraine. Boris Akunin, popular Russian writer, predicted that Russia's moves would lead to political and economic isolation.[11]

Protests against the Russian intervention also occurred outside Russian embassies in London, Berlin, Vilnius and Ankara on 2 March.[12]

March of Peace (15 March) protests[edit]

Anti-war demonstrations on 15 March 2014. Sight from the inside.

Some observers and newspapers claimed as many as 100,000 participants overall, thus for the first time in many years marking Russian Opposition rally in Moscow to be bigger than a government led manifestation.[13]

Protesters holding a banner saying: Occupation of the Crimea is a shame of Russia.

Protests against the Russian intervention in Crimea also took place in Cologne and outside the Russian Consulate in Bonn, Germany, on 15 March.[14]

In August, about a dozen activists were arrested outside the Ukrainian Embassy in Moscow for protesting against Russian president Vladimir Putin.[15]

21 September[edit]

Protests in Moscow, 21 September 2014

Another anti-war rally with about 5,000 to 20,000 demonstrators took place on Pushkinskaya Square in Moscow on 21 September 2014.[1] The Washington Post reported that "tens of thousands" protested the war in Ukraine with a peace march in downtown Moscow "under heavy police supervision".[16] There were minor scuffles with pro-Russian supporters, but no serious violence or arrests were reported.[17] About a thousand people also gathered outside the Kazan Cathedral in Saint Petersburg to protest against Russia's involvement in Ukraine.[18]

Thousands of people around the world supported this event by holding anti-war demonstrations on the same day. In the US, San Francisco, New York, Washington DC, Los Angeles, Seattle, Houston and Boston took part in the protest activities.[19]

Anti-war congress[edit]

Irina Prokhorova with Andrei Makarevich.
Professor Andrey Zubov speaking at the anti-war congress in Moscow

On 19 March 2014, the anti-war congress of Russian intelligentsia took place in Moscow.[20] The memorandum issued by the Congress, proclaims:

We, the representatives of the Russian intelligentsia feel ourselves obliged to warn the authorities from making historical mistake - the desire to take control of a part of Ukraine, the country which was considered as a brotherly one.

Open letter by Russian scientists[edit]

On 19 March 2014, a group of Russian scientists published an open letter to the Russian Ministry of Communications. The letter demanded the Ministry to check the television programs of Dmitry Kiselev for signs of extremism and incitement of ethnic hatred.[21]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Ukraine crisis: Thousands march in Moscow anti-war rally, BBC News, 21 Sep 2014, retrieved 22 Sep 2014 
  2. ^ a b "Dozens Detained at Anti-War Rallies". Moscow Times. 3 March 2014. Retrieved 17 March 2014. 
  3. ^ a b "Ukraine crisis triggers Russia's biggest anti-Putin protest in two years". Reuters. 15 March 2014. Retrieved 16 March 2014. 
  4. ^ "In Russia were detained activists who protested against the war with Ukraine". Ukrainian Independent Information Agency. March 1, 2014. 
  5. ^ "На антивоенных акциях в Москве задержаны 300 человек (Na antivoyennykh aktsiyakh v Moskve zaderzhany 300 chelovek)" [At the anti-war actions in Moscow detained 300 people] (in Russian). RU: Utro. Retrieved March 2, 2014. 
  6. ^ "В Москве и Перебурге проходят митинги против российской оккупации Крыма. Уже есть задержанные (V Moskve i Peterburge prokhodyat mitingi protiv rossiyskoy okkupatsii Kryma. Uzhe yest' zaderzhannyye)" [In Moscow and St. Petersburg rallies against the Russian occupation of the Crimea. Already have detained] (in Russian). Центр журналистских расследований (Tsentr zhurnalistskikh rassledovaniy) [Center for Investigative Journalism]. Retrieved March 2, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Жители Екатеринбурга провели пикеты против ввода российских войск в Крым (Zhiteli Yekaterinburga proveli pikety protiv vvoda rossiyskikh voysk v Krym)" [Inhabitants of Ekaterinburg picketed against Russian troops in the Crimea]. Komsomolskaya Pravda (in Russian). RU. Retrieved March 2, 2014. 
  8. ^ ""Сколько детей ты готов похоронить, чтобы Крым стал частью России?" Первые антивоенные пикеты прошли на Урале ("Skol'ko detey ty gotov pokhoronit', chtoby Krym stal chast'yu Rossii?" Pervyye antivoyennyye pikety proshli na Urale)" ["How many children are you willing to bury to Crimea became part of Russia?" First anti-war pickets were held in the Urals] (in Russian). RU: Ura. Retrieved March 2, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Не стреляй! Шевчук, Гребенщиков, Макаревич. Антивоенная риторика (Ne strelyay! Shevchuk, Grebenshchikov, Makarevich. Antivoyennaya ritorika)" [Do not shoot! Shevchuk, Grebenshikov Makarevich. antiwar rhetoric]. Novaya Gazeta (in Russian). Retrieved March 4, 2014. 
  10. ^ Bershidsky, Leonid (March 25, 2014). "Comparing Putin to Hitler Will Get You Fired". bloomberg.com. Retrieved March 25, 2014. 
  11. ^ a b "Ukraine crisis: Russians opposed to Putin". BBC News Magazine. 12 March 2014. 
  12. ^ Ukraine Crisis, Avax News, 2 Mar 2014, retrieved 22 Sep 2014 
  13. ^ В Москве 100 тысяч россиян кричали "Россия и Украина без Путина" (видео) (Russian)
  14. ^ Anti-Russia protests in Germany, Deutsche Welle, 15 Mar 2014, retrieved 24 May 2014 
  15. ^ "Anti-Ukraine war activists arrested for protest in Moscow". London: Telegraph. 13 Aug 2014. Retrieved 22 Sep 2014. 
  16. ^ Demirjian, Karoun (2014-09-21). "Russian peace march draws tens of thousands in support of Ukraine". Washington Post. Retrieved 2013-09-23. 
  17. ^ Thousands March Against War In Moscow, St. Petersburg, Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty, 22 Sep 2014 
  18. ^ Thousands march in Moscow against Kremlin role in Ukraine strife, Channel NewsAsia, 22 Sep 2014 
  19. ^ "Timeline Photos - Russian Americans in Support of Ukraine - Facebook". Retrieved 14 October 2014. 
  20. ^ "Congress of Intelligentsia against War meets in Moscow". Retrieved 14 October 2014. 
  21. ^ "Russian Scientists ask to check Kiselev". Retrieved 14 October 2014. 

External links[edit]