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This woman shaved her head to protest against Vladimir Putin's war, the reaction was not what she expected

Oh My Mag logo Oh My Mag 11/28/2022 Diana Nilsson
This woman shaved her head in protest against Putin; the reaction was not what she expected © Provided by Oh My Mag This woman shaved her head in protest against Putin; the reaction was not what she expected

Partial conscription announced earlier this year in Russia pushed men and their families towards all sorts of desperate actions - from leaving the country indefinitely to risking jail by going out to the streets to manifest their anti-war position.

Replay Video

But as mass protests are forbidden by Putin, people have found other creative ways to get their voices heard. Albina Sentyakova from Tomsk, Russia, stayed silent but did something more powerful. Sadly, not everyone appreciated her sacrifice.

The video

Earlier this autumn, Siberian media published a powerful video of Albina Sentyakova’s emotional protest against 'Putin’s war in Ukraine' and the partial conscription sending hundreds of thousands of young Russian men to die for the country.

In a clip, the young woman can be seen shaving her hair off before placing it in a cardboard box labelled ‘NO means NO’. Visibly emotional, she then raised the box above her head.

Albina chose a very symbolic location for her public protest - the main city square. 'I love Tomsk' written in capital letters can be seen in the background of the footage.

Tomsk is a Siberian city about a four-hour plane journey east of Moscow. It is populated by over half a million people and is famous for its architecture and universities.

Since most information related to Russia’s military counts and losses is classified, how many men from Tomsk were sent to the war in Ukraine and with what outcome is currently unknown.

‘I can’t stay silent’

Albina would normally risk a fine and a jail term for her anti-war action. But since there were no police around her during the protest, she wasn’t detained.

The activist admitted that she couldn’t stay silent while her male family members were at risk of 'dying in a brutal war' she didn’t support.

She said:

I can’t stay silent about what is happening in the world and in our country. It is very painful and hard to live with for me. All men in my family have military education and training and silently accept the fact that they’ll have to go to war.

The tweet reads:

A resident of Tomsk held an anti-war action by shaving her hair in Novosobornaya Square. She put her hair in a box and then lifted it up, displaying the inscription "No means no". The protester was not detained and the police were not present. Video Sibir.Realii

Reaction to the video

Though it, unarguably, takes guts and courage to shave your hair off publicly when you’re a young woman and when you risk jail term for it, the reaction to the video on Twitter wasn’t exactly what Albina hoped for. Besides clear abuse, she got plenty of unpleasant comments questioning the method she used to get her voice heard.

One user wrote:

She's just insane. She belongs in a mad house.

Another one posted:

What an idiot. The only thing she achieved with her protest is ruining her hairstyle.

One more tweet read:

No one is interested in this rubbish action. And this haircut doesn’t fit her, nothing does.

Though a lot less of it, she got some support too.

One social media user commented:

Brave woman.

The other one wrote:

Thank you for supporting the cause.

Partial military conscription in Russia

Military conscription in Russia was announced on September 21 2022. Though the government called it ‘partial’ and only limited to men with military training and experience, there were reports about all sorts of people - IT specialists, school teachers, sole breadwinners, health-exempt - given a brief training and ‘sent to die on the frontline like cannon fodder’ just days after they were conscripted.

There have also been multiple reports about these men losing their lives as a result of a lack of basic equipment and training shortly after they joined.

Sources used:

- Sibir.Realii: 'Tomsk woman shaved her head on the anti-war protest'


Plus d'info: Oh My Mag

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