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"Ukraine is not our enemy", Russians risk arrest to honor war victims

"Ukraine is not our enemy", Russians risk arrest to honor war victims

Russia's war in Ukraine has two sides to the coin: Vladimir Putin's strength to attack and kill innocent people in Ukraine and the conscience of Russians to honor the victims of their leader's war.

Natalia Samsonova , a Russian citizen, says she imagines the muffled screams of those trapped under the rubble, the fire and smell of smoke, the grief of a mother who lost her husband and infant child under the rubble of the building in Dnipro bombed by Russia.

That's why she's in a statue of Ukrainian poet Lesya Ukrainka, a largely unknown monument nestled among Moscow's brutalist apartment blocks that has hosted a hidden anti-war memorial at a time when few in Russia dare to protest the conflict. .

"I don't know what else I can do. I wanted to show that not everyone is indifferent to the war and that some people still have a conscience," she says, her eyes filling with tears.

It is the second time she has returned to lay flowers at a makeshift memorial for the victims of the January 14 strike that killed 46 people and injured more than 80.

This is the closest Russia gets to an anti-war demonstration these days. As Vladimir Putin's announcement to invade Ukraine brought thousands into the streets last February, the government has methodically quelled public dissent, arresting thousands and pressuring many more to leave the country.

Now, more than 10 days after the missile attack in Ukraine, a stream of Muscovites still come to pay their respects to those who died.


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