CHICAGO — A small, but powerful protest took place on Michigan Avenue Sunday near the Chicago River, directed at Vladimir Putin and Russia’s repressive tactics trying to silence dissenting viewpoints in his war on Ukraine.

“We are here to stand against Putin and his regime,” said Elena Kaspirovich. “We are protesting against his war in Ukraine.”

Many of those who gathered were members of the organization ‘Voice of Free Russia’ and are Russian citizens, like Ana Voronovsky, who originally came to the United States as a student.

“Russians in Russia who are against Putin’s regime, they can’t come to the streets to protest,” Voronovsky said. “They will be imprisoned, they can face a life in prison. That’s why we are here, we are speaking for them as well.”

Meanwhile, the 14-month-long war continues to rage in Eastern Europe.

On Friday, a missile attack on an apartment building in the Ukrainian city of Uman left at least 20 people dead, including six children.

According to those who organized in the Loop Sunday, it’s incidents like the missile attack in Uman that mean the world needs to continue to rally against Putin.

“If Putin wins this war, it will change the democratic system forever,” Voronovsky said.