MOSCOW (AP) — Shocked Russians turned out by the thousands Thursday to decry their country’s invasion of Ukraine.
More than 1,700 people in 53 Russian cities were detained, at least 940 of them in Moscow.
Emotional social media posts condemning the move, open letters demanding the attack stop and calls for protests came pouring in on social media.
Russian authorities have swiftly cracked down on activists who tried to rally people.
According to The Washington Post, jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny spoke out against the attacks during a court hearing.
Navalny, who the U.S believes was poisoned by Russian security agents, said he is against the war.
"I believe that this war between Russia and Ukraine is being waged to cover up the robbery of Russian citizens and to distract their attention from the problems that exist within the country, from the degradation of the economy," he said, according to The Washington Post.
Other prominent Russian activists and athletes have spoken out against the invasion.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said on Friday, "There is an outcry in the streets by Russian people, by more Russian people, than I think many would expect. So despite Putin’s crackdown at home, dissenting views remain and I think that’s important to note. To publicly protest against President Putin and his war is a deeply courageous act. Their actions show the world that despite the Kremlin’s propaganda, there are Russian people who profoundly disagree with what he is doing in Ukraine.”
Andrey Rublev, the No. 5 ranked tennis player in the world, posted messages of support for Ukraine on his Instagram.
The Russian shared a post that says, "No to War."