Moscow, 21 September 2022 (dpa/MIA) – Russian security forces have detained hundreds of people at protests against President Vladimir Putin’s latest escalation in his war against Ukraine, the civil rights group OVD-Info reported on Wednesday evening.
OVD-Info counted 735 people detained across Russia. It said 260 demonstrators were held in Moscow and 267 in St Petersburg. The country’s two largest cities also saw the largest rallies. In Moscow, people chanted for a “Russia without Putin.”
The demonstrations, most of them more modest in size, also took place in Tomsk and Irkutsk in Siberia, in Yekaterinburg on the Urals and in other locations across the vast country, where anti-government rallies are routinely repressed.
Participants held up posters with the blue and yellow colours of the Ukrainian flag and chanted slogans like “No to mobilization!”
In the capital, authorities warned people against taking part in a demonstration by saying they faced up to 15 years in prison.
Since the start of the war on Ukraine almost seven months ago, the Russian state has been cracking down on opposition voices and war opponents.
On Wednesday morning, Putin ordered the partial mobilization of reservists in order to bolster the military’s flagging efforts in Ukraine. A total of 300,000 reservists are to be drafted to fight.