Over a year since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine, thousands of anti-war protesters have either been suppressed or arrested. The heavy-handed government quickly sweeping away dissenters and the opposition—including sentiments coming from underage schoolchildren.

And, with the recent enactment of two Russian laws criminalizing independent war reporting and protesting, the voices of those who don’t support the war are now being drowned out more than ever with the risk of up to 15 years in imprisonment.

Anti-War Drawing

A Russian single father is reported to be under house arrest and is facing criminal charges after his 12-year-old daughter drew an anti-war picture in school.

According to OVD-Info, a human rights organization that has been closely monitoring the case since it first surfaced in April 2022, the girl has also been temporarily held for interrogation but was later released and is now staying in a state-run orphanage.

Weeks after Russia’s “special military operations” in Ukraine broke out, Masha Moskalyov drew rockets being fired from the Russian side toward a Ukrainian family. During art class, they were assigned to dedicate a supportive picture of the Russian troops fighting in Ukraine, but the strong-willed 12-year-old girl instead expressed her anti-war sentiments. She also included the flags of the warring countries, with a “No to War” sign on the Russian flag and a “Glory to Ukraine” phrase on the Ukrainian one. Upon seeing this, the art teacher went straight to the principal, who next called the police.