On Wednesday, an independent monitoring group said that more than 1,300 people have been arrested across Russia as demonstrators protest President Vladimir Putin’s announcement of a partial mobilization of military reservists.
More than 1,000 protesters have been detained in the country’s two most populous cities – Moscow and Saint Petersburg – but the OVD-Info group said people were detained in 38 cities.
Russia’s anti-protest laws prohibit unauthorized demonstrations. And the Moscow Prosecutor’s Office warned that participation in one of them could lead to a 15-year prison sentence, The Associated Press reported.
In a statement carried by Russian news agencies, an Interior Ministry official said that “in a number of regions there were attempts to carry out unauthorized actions that brought together a very small number of participants.”
Protest video outside Saint Petersburg Church The officers, wearing helmets and tactical gear, were shown beating protesters with batons. in Another video outside the churchthe authorities can be seen leading people away from the group one by one.
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In Moscow, video footage showed security forces holding a person on the ground as a crowd chanted: “Let this person go.”
“I am not afraid of anything,” said a Moscow protester who refused to reveal herself He told the Associated Press. “The most valuable thing they can take from us is the lives of our children. I will not give them the life of my child.”
Demonstrators took to the streets after Putin declared mobilization amid ongoing battlefield setbacks from Ukraine and a successful counterattack from that country’s armed forces.
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said 300,000 reservists with combat experience and related service will be called up initially.
Brian GalleonAnd the Maya Brown And the Rania Soterto Contributed.