More than 1,300 people in Russia were arrested on Wednesday for taking part in a nationwide campaign, a monitoring group said, after Russian leader Vladimir Putin announced a “partial mobilization” of citizens for his campaign. Detained for anti-war protests. faltering invasion of Ukraine.
Pictures and videos show police cracking down on demonstrators in multiple cities, with lens During a demonstration in central Moscow, several protesters were carried away by police and authorities in St. Petersburg in an attempt to control a crowd chanting “No mobilization” outside Isaakivsky Cathedral.
Police detained protesters in 38 Russian cities on Wednesday, according to data released shortly after midnight by the independent monitoring group OVD-Info. The group’s spokeswoman, Maria Kuznetsova, said in a call with CNN that there are at least four police stations in Moscow and that some protesters arrested by riot police have been directed Conscripted into the army.
One of the detainees was charged for refusing to be called up, she said. The government says the penalty for refusing to recruit is now 15 years in prison. Of the more than 1,300 people detained across the country, more than 500 were in Moscow and more than 520 in St. Petersburg, according to OVD-Info.
The demonstrations followed Putin’s morning speech in which he laid out a plan that upped the stakes in his war in Ukraine, including for the Russian people, at a time when a sudden counteroffensive in Kyiv had retaken Thousands of square miles of territory and putting Moscow on the back burner. Experts say its power has been severely depleted.
According to Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, the announced “partial mobilization” will call up 300,000 reservists. Putin said those with military experience would be drafted, stressing that the decree that had been signed was necessary “to protect our homeland, sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
The statute itself does not only apply to reservists.It allows “calling [of] Citizens of the Russian Federation perform military service through mobilization into the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation. ”
Putin raised the specter of nuclear weapons in his speech, saying he would use “every means at our disposal” if he believed Russia’s “territorial integrity” was threatened. He also backed a referendum on joining Russia announced this week by the Russian-appointed leaders of the four occupied territories of Ukraine.
Concerns among Russian citizens were evident on Wednesday, travel agency websites showed Demand for flights has increased dramatically Go where Russians don’t need it visa. Nonstop flights to those countries were sold out until at least Friday, flight sales websites showed.
The protests appeared to draw dozens, another strong sign of desperation for some. In Russia, dissent is often quickly suppressed, and authorities further restricted freedom of speech after the invasion of Ukraine.
Videos from social media showed several protesters in Ulan-Ude, eastern Siberia, holding signs reading “Against war! Say no to mobilization!” and “Our husbands, fathers and brothers do not want to kill other husbands and Father!”
“We want our fathers, husbands and brothers to be alive…not to orphan their children. Stop the war and don’t take our people!” said one protester.
Video from Yekaterinburg in western Russia showed police officers scuffled with several protesters. CNN was unable to independently verify footage from the two cities.
Another video posted by a reporter for Moscow-based internet publication The Village showed dozens of people chanting “let him go” on Arbatskaya Street as a man was carried away.
The Moscow prosecutor’s office on Wednesday also warned citizens not to take part in protests or spread messages calling for participation – a reminder that they could face up to 15 years in prison.
Putin’s ‘partial mobilization’ statement condemned by Western leaders, many of whom met at opening ceremony United Nations General Assembly (United Nations General Assembly) in New York.
British Prime Minister Liz Truss and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in a rare joint statement that both sides agreed that Putin’s announcement that the partial mobilization of Russian citizens was a sign of “weakness”.
Ukraine remained defiant in the face of the announcement, with President Vladimir Zelensky telling the UN General Assembly in a pre-recorded speech on Wednesday that Russia is “fearful of real (peace) negotiations,” noting what he said was Russia lie”.
Zelensky said Russia “talks about negotiations, but announces the mobilization of the army”. “Russia wants war.”