An elderly Russian woman confronted by police


Viral video shows 77-year-old Russian activist arrested for protesting Ukraine invasion

Yelena Osipova, who is well known in Russia, is being celebrated online.


Mikael Thalen


Posted on Mar 2, 2022   Updated on Mar 7, 2022, 9:39 am CST

An elderly pensioner was arrested in Russia on Wednesday while protesting the invasion of Ukraine in the city of St. Petersburg.

The woman, 77-year-old artist and activist Yelena Osipova, went viral across social media after footage showed her being take into custody by a large group of riot police.

Osipova, who is well know not only for her activism and art but for surviving the Nazi’s Siege of Leningrad as a baby, was seen holding signs that included messages urging soldiers to lay down their arms.

“In St. Petersburg, the famous blockade survivor Elena Osipova was arrested,” a Russian-language tweet translated into English said.

Osipova’s protest in light of Russia’s continued crackdown on demonstrations, which have reportedly seen as many as 7,603 people arrested across the country since the invasion began, spurred many online to commend her bravery.

“Spine tingling,” @ToryFibs wrote. “Yelena Osipova, one of the last survivors from the Siege of Leningrad, tonight arrested by 8 police in St Petersburg for asking for an end to the war.”

But it wasn’t just Twitter where the footage of Osipova went viral. Over on the popular subreddit r/PublicFreakout, the video was upvoted nearly 53,000 times.

“This woman has seen more hell than just about any of us can imagine,” one user wrote in a highly upvoted comment.

“Arresting old war survivors isn’t the sign of a strong government,” another argued.

Over on YouTube, the reaction to Ospipova was overwhelmingly positive as well.

“I really hope she is safe, she has more balls than any Russian official, such a legend,” one commentor wrote.

“Protect her at all cost !!!!” another added.

The arrest footage comes as the world prepares for Russia’s fight against Ukraine to enter its second week. The invasion is being widely condemned across the Western world and among many Russian citizens.

Read more about internet rights

ISPs won’t quit trying to derail California’s ‘gold standard’ net neutrality law
A new bill might force data brokers to delete everything they have on you
Congress barrels forward with EARN IT Act, determined to end encrypted messaging online
FCC agrees to crack down on ‘sweetheart deals’ that restrict broadband choice in apartments, condos
Sign up to receive the Daily Dot’s Internet Insider newsletter for urgent news from the frontline of online.
Share this article
*First Published: Mar 2, 2022, 7:32 pm CST