Protests in Russia take interesting turns

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Protest demonstrations in Russia are becoming increasingly creative.

Banksy-like drawings on the asphalt at Akademgorodok, the educational and scientific center of Siberia, appear to depict bodies from Bucha, Ukraine, where massacres of civilians recently took place.

The characters drawn by a sneaky graffiti artist have their hands tied behind their backs, like many of the dead in Bucha.

A Ukrainian soldier poses for a photo in front of a wall of heart-shaped graffiti while patrolling an undisclosed location in Kharkiv Oblast.
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A Ukrainian soldier poses for a photo in front of a wall of heart-shaped graffiti while patrolling an undisclosed location in Kharkiv Oblast.
(Alex Chan Tsz Yuk/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

There have been Molotov cocktail attacks on recruiting stations and police cars.

A forty-year-old woman from Yekaterinburg who said she had never been interested or active in politics sewed her mouth shut and stood on the street in a busy shopping district with a sign saying: ‘We we cannot remain silent”.

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Nadezhda Sayfutdinova lasted an hour before being taken away. Before that, she said, many approached and hugged her. The police attempted to commit Sayfutdinova to a psychiatric hospital. Maybe the fact that she’s a single mom saved her — for now. She wonders and worries about what will happen next.

Russian entrepreneur Evgeny Chichvarkin was one of the country’s wealthiest young men and celebrated for his business acumen years ago before escaping face down on the floorboards of a car.

Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke to flight attendants in comments broadcast on state television on March 5, 2022.

Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke to flight attendants in comments broadcast on state television on March 5, 2022.
(Reuters video)

The state had pressured him and apparently tried to shake Chichvarkin off. He now owns a luxury wine store called Hedonism in London, but is active in opposition Russia politics.

He helped fund Alexei Navalny during his post-poisoning recovery in Germany and is currently organizing medical aid shipments to Ukraine. I asked Chichvarkin if these individual protests like Sayfutdinova’s instead of mass protests made a difference in Russia. He is rather pessimistic about the prospects for change.

“Nothing will affect Putin. We can see what he is afraid of,” Chichvarkin told Fox News. “He is really afraid of an oil and gas embargo. But he thinks that will never happen. And we know since yesterday that he is a bit worried about upsetting Israel.”

Part of the ongoing discussion about what might inspire Russian President Vladimir Putin to stop this war is the issue of fallen soldiers and how society will eventually respond to a growing death toll that now likely numbers in the thousands. . There has been growing anger over Moscow’s refusal to admit losses on the battleship Moscow which sank in the Black Sea last month.

Ukraine said it destroyed the vessel with a missile. The Russian military says there was simply a fire on board. Dozens were reportedly killed. A father has just shared the cold message he received online from his son’s military commanders which referred to a ‘dead ship’ but a sailor who was inexplicably missing. Human rights groups are working to compile lists of the dead.

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Meanwhile, acts of sabotage on the railways of Russia and Belarus are perpetrated by shadowy groups. One of them called “Stop the Wagons” recently posted on social media a map of the regions of Russia it is targeting to take action to prevent the transport of fuel and materials to Ukraine via the railroad. of iron. The discussion group includes advice on ways to disable trains.

A Ukrainian soldier poses for a photo in front of a wall of heart-shaped graffiti while patrolling an undisclosed location in Kharkiv Oblast.

A Ukrainian soldier poses for a photo in front of a wall of heart-shaped graffiti while patrolling an undisclosed location in Kharkiv Oblast.
(Alex Chan Tsz Yuk/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Fox News spoke to one of the coordinators of a similar group in Belarus that includes railroad workers, former security service personnel and cyber-warriors who claim to have “seriously hampered” the rail network and its infrastructure in many cases during the early stages of the war.

READ THE LATEST UPDATES ON THE WAR IN UKRAINE

These Belarusians were already dissenting, having embittered their country’s leadership after the disputed August 2020 election, when protesters were brutally suppressed.

Now they are doubly motivated to act out of disgust with the war in Ukraine.

They currently have less work to do as most Russian troops have left Belarus for the time being. Belarusian KGB and Russian military intelligence are on to them. It’s a game of cat and mouse as they try to stay operational while fearing more Russian troops will pour into Belarus if there’s another round of deployments.

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In an interesting twist, perhaps the most interesting sign of dissent might have been what came out of the mouth of this controversial Belarusian leader, Putin’s last real ally. Alexander Lukashenko said he didn’t think the war – or “the operation” as he would call it – “would last that long”.

It made tongues speak. Was it a slip or a signal to his Russian counterpart that there might be trouble brewing next door on friendly soil?

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