From: UpFront

Is the war in Ukraine a turning point for dissent in Russia?

‘Russia will never be the same,’ says Leonid Drabkin, coordinator of the NGO OVD-Info.

Thousands of anti-war protesters have been imprisoned in dozens of Russian cities following far-reaching demonstrations against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“These are very widespread detentions, in many cities of Russia. In over 100 cities, we know that there were detentions over the last week,” says Leonid Drabkin, coordinator of the NGO OVD-Info, an independent human rights media project that helps the victims of political persecution in Russia.

The scale of the demonstrations raises questions about whether the invasion could prove a turning point for dissent within President Vladimir Putin’s Russia.

“There are a lot of new people who are coming on the streets, who it’s like the first rally in their life, because this topic really touches everyone. Because it’s not really about your political views, but many Russians have relatives and friends in Ukraine, and this is just a personal pain,” explains Drabkin.

On UpFront, Marc Lamont Hill speaks with activist and coordinator of the NGO OVD-Info, Leonid Drabkin, and asks what he believes the anti-war protests in Russia mean for the future of dissent in the country.