October 7, 2022

Russia drafts anti-war protesters into military amid nationwide demonstrations: monitoring group

3 min read


More than 1,300 people were detained across Russia on Wednesday for taking part in nationwide anti-war protests – some of whom were directly recruited into the army, according to a monitoring group run by leader Vladimir Putin. After the announcementPartial dynamicCitizens for it Weak attack Of Ukraine.

Photos and videos show police cracking down on protesters in several cities. with footage A demonstration in central Moscow shows several protesters chanting “no movement” outside Isakievsky Cathedral in St Petersburg as police and authorities try to stop the crowd.

Police detained protesters in 38 Russian cities on Wednesday, according to figures released shortly after midnight by the independent monitoring group OVD-Info. Maria Kuznetsova, a spokeswoman for the group, said in a phone call with CNN that some of the protesters arrested by riot police in at least four Moscow police stations are being drafted directly into Russia’s military.

He said that one of the detainees has been threatened with legal action for refusing to produce the draft. The government has said that the penalty for refusing the draft is now 15 years in prison. According to OVD-Info, of the more than 1,300 people detained nationwide, more than 500 were in Moscow and more than 520 in St. Petersburg.

The protests followed Putin’s morning address, in which he laid out a plan that raises the stakes of his war in Ukraine, including for the Russian people, at a time when a A sudden counterattack has recaptured thousands of square miles of territory from Kyiv and put Moscow on the back foot. Experts say that his forces have been Finished significantly.

The announced “partial dynamic” will appear. 300,000 reservists According to Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, the call was made. Putin said those with military experience would be recruited, stressing that the decree – which has already been signed – was “necessary to protect our homeland, its sovereignty and its territorial integrity.” Is.”

This order does not apply only to conservationists. This allows for “call-ups”. [of] Citizens of the Russian Federation mobilized for military service in the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation.

Putin raised the specter of nuclear weapons during his address, saying he would use “all means at our disposal” if they threatened Russia’s “territorial integrity.” He also endorsed the referendum on joining Russia that Russian-appointed leaders in Ukraine’s four occupied regions announced this week.

Concern among Russian citizens was palpable on Wednesday, travel agency websites showed Dramatic increase in demand for flights In places where the Russians are not needed. Visa flight sales websites indicate direct flights to such countries are sold out by at least Friday.

Riot police detain a protester during an anti-war demonstration in Moscow, Russia, September 21.

The demonstrations, most of which drew a few dozen people, were another strong indication of the frustration felt by some. Dissent in Russia is usually quickly crushed and the authorities have given more space. Restrictions on freedom of expression After the invasion of Ukraine.

Social media footage showed several protesters in Ulan-Ude, eastern Siberia, chanting “No war! No mobilization! And “Our husbands, fathers and brothers don’t want to kill other husbands and fathers! ”

“We want our fathers, husbands and brothers to live … and not leave our children orphans. Stop the war and don’t take our people,” said one protester.

Video from Yekaterinburg, western Russia, shows police scuffling with several protesters. CNN could not independently verify the footage from either city.

Another video posted by a journalist for Moscow 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 against joining the protests or distributing information calling for participation – reminding people they could face up to 15 years in prison.

Putin’s “partially dynamic” announcement was condemned by Western leaders, many of whom were meeting to mark the opening of the conference. United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York.

In a rare joint statement, British Prime Minister Liz Truss and European Commission President Ursula van der Leyen said Wednesday that both agreed that Putin’s announcement of partial mobilization of Russian citizens was a sign of “weakness.” Is.

Ukraine remained defiant despite the announcement, with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy telling UNGA in a pre-recorded address on Wednesday that Russia was “afraid of real (peace) talks” and pointing to what he called Russian “lies. “Declares.

Russia “talks about negotiations but announces military mobilization,” Zelenskiy said. “Russia wants war.”

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