She is a well-known activist who previously survived a Nazi Germany siege on the city.
In recent weeks, hundreds of Russian citizens have been participating in anti-war protests to show their resistance to the violence in Ukraine.
Now, a video of an elderly woman’s arrest has gone viral. She had been taking part in a large-scale demonstration in Saint Petersburg.
77-year-old Yelena Osipova had been holding up two handwritten posters when she was taken away by local police in full riot gear.
When you find yourself detaining elderly protestors, you’re losing.pic.twitter.com/uN2zjkULbx
— Brian Tyler Cohen (@briantylercohen) March 2, 2022
As translated by Sky News, one of the posters read: “Soldier, drop your weapon and you will be a true hero.”
Meanwhile, crowds had gathered around her in support, clapping and chanting: “No to war!”
According to The Guardian, Yelena survived the siege of Leningrad (St Petersburg) when German Nazi forces invaded the Soviet city during World War II.
The video has been shared widely, with Yelena gaining support from all across the world.
Senior Fellow and Director of the Middle East Institute Syria program, Charles Lister, said on Twitter:
“Putin’s police arrested a 76yr old woman today in StPetersburg – for protesting against the invasion of Ukraine. How brave & patriotic of them!”
How brave & patriotic of them!
Yelena Osipova survived the Siege of Leningrad from 1941-44.pic.twitter.com/iOjghOv1u0
— Charles Lister (@Charles_Lister) March 2, 2022
Member of European Parliament, Hannah Neumann, thanked the woman for her bravery, writing:
“This is not Russia’s war, this is Putin’s war. This is not about #DeNazification, this is about destroying the international order that guaranteed peace in Europe after the #Holocaust. Thank you Yelena Osipova for your courage. And shame on you Putin.”
On Saturday, Russia’s military announced a temporary ceasefire in two areas of Ukraine to allow civilians to evacuate the cities.
It’s reported by the UN that approximately 1.5 million people have fled Ukraine.
Meanwhile, President Zelenskyy has warned that Russian forces will face retribution for what they have done.
“We will not forgive. We will not forget,” he said. “We will punish everyone who committed atrocities in this war on our land.”