Russian protestor in Nottinghamshire 'ashamed' of Putin's Ukraine invasion
Peter Bearne reports
A Russian anti-war protestor in Nottingham has described Russian President Vladimir Putin as a "monster and a murderer" as she responded to the country's invasion of Ukraine.
Irina Holliday, who is 35-years-old, said she felt "dreadful" over the war atrocities in Ukraine.
Ms Holliday left Russia in 2010 and now lives in Gedling in Nottinghamshire, working as a A media account director.
She had lived in a town in Siberia, and in Moscow, before a move to Montenegro and then on to the UK.
Speaking to ITV Central's Correspondent Peter Bearne, she said: "On the 24th of February we all woke up to the whole new world where Russia essentially just started killing their neighbours."
Irina Holliday said she felt "ashamed" after the invasion of Ukraine
Russian troops invaded Ukraine on the orders of President Putin on February 24, 2022 and thousands of people have died since.
Ms Holliday has been attending protests against the invasion in the town centre, holding a sign which reads, "I'm Russian and I'm sorry."
She said she would probably be in prison now due to her political views, if she had stayed in Russia.
She told ITV Central that so long as Putin remains in power, she wont go back.
Thousands of anti-war protestors have defied heavy handed security in Russia to protest the war, according to reports.
Videos posted to social media have shown protestors being roughly handled by police as the regime cracks down on dissent.
Videos from major Russian cities have shown police using force to suppress protests
The government has blocked Facebook and Twitter, and has said that anyone spreading "fake" reports about the war could be sent to prison for 15 years.
Ms Holliday says it leaves her "completely disgusted" by the current government.
"I can see where Russia is going," she said.
"Putin is a monster and murderer, and he is robbing Russians of their money...People are now living beyond poverty."
But she says the harsh restrictions placed on the media have led even her mother to believe the Kremlin's narrative, that this is a "special operation" rather than a war.
In Russia, a long-time friend of Ms Holliday, Oksana, spoke to Nottinghamshire Live about the war.
The photographer and mother said that: "This [war] has completely destroyed my entire life," she said.
"I am half Ukrainian and for me, this is the devil's disaster.
"On February 24, I woke up to a new reality that I could never imagine...But I am not the only one who is completely disappointed in our government."
"The government and Russian people are two different things."
"We do not want this war."