Dozens detained by Russian police on Ukraine war anniversary - rights centre

(Reuters) - Dozens of people were detained by police in Russia on Friday for actions to commemorate the first anniversary of Moscow's invasion of Ukraine, in some cases just for placing flowers, a human rights group said on Friday.

Russian authorities have remained largely silent during the anniversary, which Ukraine has observed with a ceremony to remember soldiers and civilians who have been killed.

In Moscow, at least three people laying flowers on a monument to prominent Ukrainian poet Lesya Ukrainka were quickly detained by police officers, rights centre OVD-Info said.

"One of them was laying flowers at the monument, but at the same moment she was grabbed by the security forces and the bouquet was taken away," it said.

At least 15 people were detained laying flowers at a monument to Ukrainian writer Taras Shevchenko in St Petersburg, it added.

Last year, police detained more than 4,300 people at Russia-wide protests against the invasion, according to OVD-Info.

Russia has introduced tough new laws providing for fines or jail sentences for those who discredit its army or criticise the war, which it calls a "special military operation".

(Reporting by Reuters; Writing by Caleb Davis; Editing by Mark Trevelyan)