Thousands of anti-war protesters detained across Russia amid its invasion of Ukraine

Nearly 4,000 people have been detained at anti-war protests across Russia on Sunday, rights groups and Russian authorities say.

Some 1,700 people were detained in Moscow alone, the RIA news agency reported, citing the interior ministry.

The OVD-Info rights group says detentions took place in 53 cities.

Although protests have become increasingly restricted in recent years, numerous rallies have taken place across Russia since the invasion.

In the last 11 days, more than 10,000 people have been detained at protests, OVD-Info says.

“The screws are being fully tightened – essentially we are witnessing military censorship,” Maria Kuznetsova, OVD-Info’s spokeswoman, told Reuters news agency from Tbilisi in Georgia.

“We are seeing rather big protests today – even in Siberian cities, where we only rarely saw such numbers of arrests.”

Earlier this week, government critic Alexei Navalny

called for daily demonstrations against the invasion, saying Russia should not be a “nation of frightened cowards”.

However, a number of new laws have made it harder to protest in Russia in recent years, rights groups say.

“Although Russian legislation avoids explicitly using terms like ‘permit’ or ‘ban’… it effectively requires organisers to seek authorisation for their assemblies,” Amnesty International says.

Anti-war protesters also took to the streets in cities like Brussels, in Belgium, and London.