The report said 1,300 people were arrested in anti-mobilization protests


More than 1,300 people have been arrested after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a partial mobilization of reserves to fight in Ukraine, sparking nationwide protests on Wednesday, a police watchdog said. The OVD-Information Monitoring Group arrested 1,332 people at rallies in 38 different cities across the country after Putin’s morning address to the country, news agency AFP reported.

The protests are seen as the largest in Russia since the protests that erupted following Moscow’s military intervention in Ukraine in February. Putin also reiterated warnings about the threat of nuclear weapons. “When our country’s territorial integrity is threatened, we will certainly use all means at our disposal to protect Russia and our people,” he said in a televised national address on Wednesday. “It’s not nonsense.”

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“No gathering!” The slogans are slogans

Protesters chanted “Don’t rally!” “Everyone is afraid. I’m for peace, I don’t want to shoot. But it’s too dangerous to come out now, otherwise there will be many more,” said student protester Vasily Fedorov, wearing a peace symbol on his chest. .

“I came out planning to take part in the rally, but it seems they have already arrested everyone. This regime is condemning itself and destroying its youth,” said Alexey, 60. “Why are you serving Putin? A man who has been in power for 20 years! A young protester killed a policeman. “I came to say that I am against war and mobilization,” Oksana Sidorenko, a student, told AFP. “Why are they deciding my future for me? I fear for myself, for my brother,” he added.

Ban on demonstrations

At least 50 people wearing riot gear were arrested on a main shopping street in central Moscow.

Police rounded up a small group of protesters and stopped them one by one as they loaded them onto a bus in Russia’s former imperial capital, St. Petersburg.

The Interfax news agency quoted the Russian Interior Ministry as saying it had canceled attempts to “organize unauthorized gatherings”.

All demonstrations were called off and those committing “encroachments” were arrested and taken away by the police pending investigation and prosecution, it added.

The military mobilization order comes a day after Russian-controlled areas in eastern and southern Ukraine announced plans to hold a referendum on becoming part of Russia. Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Russia would mobilize 300,000 reservists for the conflict in Ukraine. He added that Russia “is not fighting Ukraine like the West.”

Flights out of Russia have been fully booked this week, airline and travel agency data showed Wednesday, with people leaving not wanting to join the conflict.


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