Russians demonstrated against Putin in the center of Prague

Karel Čapek

Several hundred people demonstrated in Prague’s Wenceslas Square on Wednesday evening against the regime of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Most of the young Russian supporters of the anti-Putin opposition brought with their banners or the blue and white flags used by the Russian opposition.

About 200 to 300 people attended the demonstration. Some carried banners supporting Ukraine, opposing the war with Ukraine, or distancing themselves from Putin and his regime. Several speakers took turns addressing their compatriots in Russian under the statue of St. Wenceslas.

The demonstrators aimed to speak out against Putin, who declared a partial mobilization due to the war in Ukraine on Wednesday.

One of the organizers, Denis Bilunov, said it was essential for European like-minded people to come together and act together. He recalled that Russian opponents of Putin’s regime and his war had already established the Prague Anti-War Committee at the beginning of the conflict, trying to unite Putin’s opponents and help Ukrainian refugees. They plan to make their next appearance in Prague on Sunday at Peace Square, and Bilunov hopes for broader support from the Russian minority. He says about 20,000 Russians live in Prague.

Opponents of Putin are also demonstrating against him in Russia on Wednesday. Police detained hundreds of people during protests against the partial mobilization announced this morning.

For example, police broke up a protest in the Siberian city of Irkutsk and detained several dozen people. It also made arrests in Omsk. Larger demonstrations are taking place in the evening in the towns in the European part of Russia.