A terrified Russian mother was captured in a haunting video trying to explain to her tearful daughter why they have been detained by armed police for allegedly opposing President Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine.
The children and their mothers went to put flowers at the Ukrainian embassy in Moscow, but were all detained.
Sociologist Alexandra Arkhipova told of her horror when mothers Ekaterina Zavizion and Olga Alter and their children Sofya Gladkova, seven, Liza Gladkova, 11, Gosha Petrov, 11, Matvey Petrov, nine and David Petrov, seven, were held by Russian officers.
‘All of them were detained by the police,’ she said.
The police carried them in a police vehicle and took them to the Presnenskoye police station.
‘Phones were taken away from parents, and the policemen are shouting at the parents threatening these brave mums and their children, that the kids could be put into care right now, and these mothers would lose their parental rights.’
The video below shows one of the mothers Ekaterina Zavizion and her daughter Sofya, seven, talking through the metal cage of a cell.
The deeply distraught girl clutches her mother’s hand through the cell
‘They don’t want many people gathering in one space,’ explained her mother.
‘Why are you sitting there?’ Demanded her daughter.
‘Everything is going to be good, do you trust me?’ The mother said
Mother Ekaterina told of the ‘hell’ she suffered as her children screamed and wept when they were detained.
‘I had watched videos showing the horrible inhumane bombing in Kharkiv – and realised I could no longer sit under a bush shaking and pretend nothing was happening,’ she said.
‘My heart is tearing with sorrow and pain.
‘I had the most peaceful intentions – to lay flowers in the memory of civilians and children who had perished in Ukraine.’
She wanted to show ‘we are not indifferent’ and that ‘we are dying here too from sorrow and pain.’
On being detained with her children, she said: ‘It was surreal, I was not prepared for it.
‘The children started screaming, it was hell. God, I will never forget those minutes.’
She said: ‘Perhaps it would have been safer for my family to stay silent and not go anywhere.’