Russian Concertgoers Chant Against Putin & Ukraine Invasion In St. Petersburg
Footage captured at an indoor concert in St. Petersburg, Russia shows attendees shouting the Russian for “F––k the war,” over and over and against President Vladimir Putin. While a chant with this content could be standard in U.S. protests, the Russian government is far more likely to crack down on dissent within its country.
Just days after announcing their invasion of Ukraine on March 4, Russia enacted laws forbidding protest of the war and independent reporting on combat operations in Ukraine that could be seen as “discrediting Russian armed forces.” They later expanded these censorship laws on March 23 to also forbid any criticism of the Russian government’s conduct abroad in general.
Young, urban Russians attend a concert in St. Petersburg.
The entire crowd is chanting “F the war”.
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One of the few occasions to voice dissent without getting arrested.
— Visegrád 24 (@visegrad24) May 22, 2022
Most of the Russian media is unable to air critical viewpoints because of these laws, and the fact that most major TV stations are in service of the Kremlin anyway. However, one military journalist for the state-owned network Russia One actually made some rather critical comments on air.
Mikhail Khodaryonok, a military reporter who is also a decorated veteran of the Russian armed forces, began his screed against the war by saying, “The situation for us will clearly get worse.” He then made his point in more detail with a follow-up: “The biggest problem with our military and political situation is that we are in total geopolitical isolation and the whole world is against us, even if we don’t want to admit it.”
He also added that the performance of Russian troops was in decline, but in a subsequent appearance several days later he seemed to walk those statements back by saying, “I think our armed forces have been given this objective and that in the near future it will be accomplished.”
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