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Detentions at ‘anti-mobilization’ protests in Russia — RT Russia & Former Soviet Union

People rallied after President Vladimir Putin announced partial mobilization earlier on Wednesday

Hundreds of people have taken to the streets of Moscow and dozens of other Russian cities on Wednesday to protest mobilization. Partial mobilization was announced earlier on Wednesday by President Vladimir Putin amid Russia’s prolonged conflict with Ukraine. In many cases, the protests ended up in clashes with the law enforcement and brutal detentions.

At least 120 people have been detained in Moscow as a crowd gathered not far from the Russian General Staff headquarters in the city center to protest against mobilization, according to an activist group, OVD-Info. 

The Moscow police and the city authorities have not officially commented on the developments. The official number of those detained during the protests has not also been released so far. OVD-info is an activist group covering various protest actions in Russia. It was designated a ‘foreign agent’ by the Russian Justice Ministry in 2021.

Protests were also held in other Russian cities. A crowd gathered near Saint Isaac’s Cathedral in St. Petersburg. The demonstration there also ended up in brief clashes with police, and detentions. A video from the scene showed police officers in riot gear trying to push the crowd away.

At least 126 protesters have been detained in St. Petersburg, according to the OVD-Info. 

The activist group also said that protests across Russia on Wednesday resulted in a total of 535 arrests.

Dozens of people have taken to the streets in the cities of Ufa, Yekaterinburg, Perm and Chelyabinsk, in the Urals region. There the protests resulted in between 14 and 45 detentions, according to the activists. The Siberian cities of Krasnoyarsk, Novosibirsk, Irkutsk and Yakutsk saw some protests as well.

Earlier, an activist movement ‘Vesna’ (‘Spring’), which has been opposing the Russian military operation in Ukraine, had called on people to take to the streets of their home cities on Wednesday evening to protest the Kremlin’s decision on mobilization.

Earlier on Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin had announced a partial military mobilization. He said the Defense Ministry had recommended drawing military reservists into active service amid the prolonged conflict in Ukraine and Donbass.

Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu explained that additional troops were required to control the 1,000-kilometer-long contact line with Ukrainian forces and Russian-held areas. According to Shoigu, the mobilization would involve calling to arms some 300,000 reservists, or just over 1% of Russia’s full mobilization potential.

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