MOSCOW, February 24. /TASS/. Some 600 people have been detained at an unsanctioned rally in downtown Moscow, the local police department told TASS on Thursday.
"Police detained 600 people at the unsanctioned rally against the special military operation in the capital’s center," the press service said.
One of the protesters threw a Molotov cocktail at the police damaging a prisoner transport vehicle. A criminal probe was launched into the incident, said Moscow’s Investigative Committee.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a televised address on Thursday morning that in response to a request by the heads of the Donbass republics he had made a decision to carry out a special military operation in order to protect people "who have been suffering from abuse and genocide by the Kiev regime for eight years." The Russian leader stressed that Moscow had no plans of occupying Ukrainian territories.
When clarifying the developments unfolding, the Russian Defense Ministry reassured that Russian troops are not targeting Ukrainian cities, but are limited to surgically striking and incapacitating Ukrainian military infrastructure. There are no threats whatsoever to the civilian population.