This is what bravery looks like.
On Thursday, the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs warned citizens against protesting the country’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, telling residents they “will be detained and held liable” if they’re caught participating in such demonstrations, according to a report from the New York Post.
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That, though, did not stop hundreds of Russians from flooding the streets and condemning the actions taken by President Vladimir Putin’s regime. By nightfall Thursday, demonstrators had descended on Novosibirsk and St. Petersburg, Putin’s hometown.
In a seemingly threatening statement, the ministry told Russian citizens who are speaking out against Putin: “Offices of the Russian Interior Ministry and other law enforcement agencies are in full control of the situation around the country and will take all the necessary measures to maintain law and order. Be smart and don’t compromise your safety.”
It appears the Russian government is acting quickly to silence dissenters.
According to several reports, opposition activist Marina Litvinovich — who was urging people in Russia to take to the streets beginning at 7 p.m. local time to protest the government — has been detained in Moscow, the capital city.
Litvinovich was purportedly taken into custody as she left her house Thursday afternoon.
Videos posted to social media apparently showed Russian authorities arresting opposition protesters.
Alexei Navalny, a currently imprisoned opposition and anti-corruption leader who challenged Putin before nearly dying after being poisoned with a nerve agent in August 2020, said from court Thursday: “I oppose this war, which is being waged by Putin simply to deflect from his domestic political issues, from the complete collapse of the economy. He is willing to impose the cost of war on Russians rather than leave his palace.”
As Faithwire reported earlier, Christians and members of the Jewish community in Ukraine came together in recent days to pray over the constantly evolving situation. At the time, the believers prayed Psalm 31, a hymn of protection, and John 1:5, which states, “That light shines in the darkness, and yet the darkness did not overcome it” (CSB).
CNN’s Clarissa Ward also highlighted a group of Christians who knelt outside in Kharkiv to pray for peace. Ward described the prayerful moment as “very moving” and indicative of just how grave the situation in Ukraine is.
“Right now,” she said, “there is truly a sense of having no idea what is coming down the pipeline.”
Please continue to pray for Ukraine, for Putin, for the Russians speaking out against their government, and for God’s will to be done and His name to be glorified in this tragic situation.
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