At least 1,386 people were arrested in Russia in protests held on Wednesday against the partial mobilization of citizens ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin to fight the war in Ukraine, a non-governmental organization (NGO) declared today.
At least 1,386 people were arrested in 38 cities,” the independent organization OVD-Info, which tracks the arrests and has already been declared a “foreign agent” by Russian authorities, said on the social network Telegram today.
As of Wednesday afternoon, OVD-Info had reported that more than 1,113 people had already been detained in protests in 38 Russian cities.
The human rights organization reported detainees in Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, Perm, Ufa, Krasnoyarsk, Chelyabinsk, Irkutsk, Novosibirsk, Yakutsk, Ulan-Ude, Arkhangelsk, Korolev, Voronezh, Zheleznogorsk, Izhevsk, Tomsk, Salavat, Tyumen, Volgograd, Petrozavodsk, Samara, Surgut, Smolensk, Belgorod, and other cities.
According to OVD-Info, the police acted with violence against the protesters, and among the detainees were several journalists.
The Moscow Prosecutor’s Office has warned that it will punish with up to 15 years in prison for the organization and participation in illegal actions.
It will also be administratively or criminally punished to broadcast calls to participate in illegal actions or to carry out other illegal acts on social networks, as well as making appeals to minors to participate in illegal acts.
According to the latest data from OVD-Info, 509 people were detained in Moscow and at least 541 in St. Petersburg, the country’s second-largest city.
On Wednesday, the Russian President declared that the number of people drafted into active military service would be determined by the Defense Ministry, and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said in a televised interview that 300,000 reservists with relevant combat and service experience will initially be mobilized.
In addition to calling for protests, Russia has also seen a sharp exodus of citizens since Putin ordered the army to invade Ukraine nearly seven months ago.
In his speech to the country on Wednesday, in which he announced a partial mobilization of reservists, Vladimir Putin also made a veiled nuclear threat to Russian enemies of the West.
The military offensive launched on February 24 by Russia in Ukraine has already caused more than 13 million people to flee – more than six million internally displaced people and more than 7.4 million to European countries – according to the most recent UN data, which ranks this refugee crisis as the worst in Europe since the Second World War (1939-1945).
The Russian invasion – justified by Russian President Vladimir Putin, with the need to “denazify” and demilitarize Ukraine for Russia’s security – was condemned by the international community in general, which has responded by sending weapons to Ukraine and imposing Russia from political and economic sanctions.
The UN presented as confirmed since the beginning of the war 5,916 dead civilians and 8,616 wounded, stressing that these numbers are far below the real ones.
Source: With Agencies