Authorities arrested hundreds of people in Russia In protests against the new “partial mobilization” of reservists for the war in Ukraine, according to an independent rights group.
The NGO OVD-Info said that 724 people were arrested in 32 different cities this Saturday (24). About 1,000 people were already arrested earlier this week.
Demonstrations have taken over the country since the president Russian President Vladimir Putin He announced plans to recall 300,000 men from the reserve. Russian law prohibits “unauthorized” demonstrations, but that has not stopped the protests, which have expanded into urban areas.
In Moscow, AFP reported witnessing a protester being arrested by police and shouting “we are not cannon fodder” (a term used for soldiers treated as expendables in the conflict).
And in St. Petersburg, one of the country’s main cities, a man told reporters: “I don’t want to go to war for Putin.”
Natalia Dubova, 70, told AFP she opposed the war and admitted that she was “afraid for the young people” who should be ordered to the front.
Demonstrations have gripped the country since Vladimir Putin announced the call for reservists – Image: Getty Images via BBC
On Saturday, some detainees reported receiving summonses and were ordered to report to recruitment centers while under the guard of the security forces. The Kremlin defended the practice earlier this week, saying it “does not go against the law.”
Moscow also agreed Severe new penalties For those charged with dereliction of duty on call-up, impose penalties of up to 10 years in prison for any soldier caught surrendering, trying to escape, or refusing to fight.
The president also signed orders granting Russian citizenship to any foreign citizen who enlists for a year in the country’s armed forces.
The decree shows just how severe the troop shortage is in Moscow, observers say, and ignores the usual requirement of five years of residence in the country for citizenship.
In other cities, young Russians continue to leave the country to avoid being conscripted.
On the Georgian border, Russian car lines stretch for more than 30 kilometers, and the Interior Ministry urged people not to travel.
Local Russian officials acknowledged a large influx of cars trying to cross – with approximately 2,500 vehicles waiting at a checkpoint.
Acceptance is to change the tone of Russiawho on Thursday called reports of Ross deserting draft “false.”
Meanwhile, Finland has seen a sharp increase in the number of Russians trying to enter the country. The number of Russians who have arrived has more than doubled since last week, said Matti Petkaniti, a spokesman for the country’s border guards. On Friday, the government announced plans to keep Russian tourists away.
The flow on the Finnish border increases after Russia announced its call for reservists
“The goal is to significantly reduce the number of people coming in Russia To Finland,” President Sauli Niinisto told state radio.
Several other neighboring countries have already ruled out granting asylum to Russians who wish to avoid conscription.
Many Russians are now fleeing Russia Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkovic said, “Because of the mobilization they agreed with the killing of Ukrainians. They did not protest before. It is not right to consider them conscientious objectors now.”
The Kremlin revealed, on Friday, a number of professions that guarantee exemption from employment.
IT workers, bankers and journalists working for state media will escape the “partial mobilization” announced by Putin.
However, the veracity of the Kremlin’s claims has been called into question, with reports of men being called out who do not meet recruitment criteria.
Margarita Simonyan, editor of the state-owned newspaper RT, posted on Twitter a list of elderly and disabled citizens who were asked to report to the service.
“Devoted food specialist. General alcohol fanatic. Amateur explorer. Infuriatingly humble social media scholar. Analyst.”