Kremlin moves to arrest Russians protesting Ukraine invasion: report
Russia's President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting in the Kremlin in Astrakhan on June 4, 2014 [AFP]

On Thursday, The Daily Beast reported that the Kremlin is facing some internal anger as Russian citizens and activists rise up to protest the invasion of Ukraine — and is responding with fierce crackdowns to arrest and intimidate dissidents.

"Protesters who staged demonstrations against the war in cities including Novosibirsk, Yekaterinburg, St. Petersburg, and Moscow were quickly detained," reported Allison Quinn. "Marina Litvinovich, a well-known human rights activist, posted a video on social media calling for Russians to take to the streets and protest the assault on Ukraine — but she was arrested outside her home in Moscow a short time later, according to multiple local reports. Apparently fearing further demonstrations, numerous Russian law enforcement agencies, including the powerful Investigative Committee and the Interior Ministry, discouraged citizens from taking part in 'unsanctioned' protests."

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According to the report, some Russians are undeterred by the threats, with 100 municipal deputies around the country signing a letter condemning the invasion as an "unparalleled atrocity."

Vladimir Putin has claimed the invasion is a "peacekeeping" mission to protect separatist rebels who have declared two so-called "independent republics" in the east of Ukraine with the backing of Russian forces. Reports indicate that the invasion has moved rapidly and is already approaching the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv, where locals are using subway stations as bomb shelters.