Over 1,300 arrests as Russian police recorded dragging away anti-war protesters

More than 1,300 Russian protesters have been arrested for demonstrating against Vladimir Putin ordering the country's first military mobilisation since WW2.

Police dragged away kicking and screaming protesters, following Putin's televised announcement where he shared his plans to annex swaths of Ukrainian territory and threatened to use nuclear weapons to defend Russia.

Putin's "It's not a bluff" declaration saw flights out of Russia quickly sold out, while jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny called for mass demonstrations against the mobilisation.

READ MORE: Plane tracker shows Russians fleeing as flights sell out following Putin's mobilisation

Russians said some people were already receiving call-up notices, and police were barring men from leaving one city in the south.

Independent protest monitoring group OVD-Info said more than 1,300 people had been detained in protests by Wednesday evening.

Footage shows clashes between protesters and police with some dissenters being pushed to the ground and then carried away.

There have been hundreds of arrests in Moscow and St Petersburg while scores more reported in Yekaterinburg.

To stay up to date with all the latest news, make sure you sign up to one of our newsletters here.

The first demonstrations began in Siberia and one video shows an anti-mobilisation protester being detained in Novosibirsk after shouting at police and FSB officers at a rally: “I am not going to die for Putin, or for you!”

He told the armed law enforcement: “You know too well everything is f***** up!”

The man was loudly clapped by others at the anti-war rally in Siberia’s unofficial capital.

In a country that counts millions of former conscripts as reservists, Putin's "partial mobilisation" decree gave no clue as to who would be called up.

Defence Secretary Sergei Shoigu said 300,000 people would be mobilised from a pool of 25 million, while contracts of professional troops would be extended indefinitely.

The move follows months of Kremlin promises that it would do no such thing, and is believed to be one of Putin's riskiest political moves as for many ordinary Russians, especially in the urban middle classes, the prospect of being sent to fight would be the first hint of the war affecting them personally.

"It is clear that the criminal war is getting worse, deepening, and Putin is trying to involve as many people as possible in this," jailed opposition leader Navalny said in a video message recorded and published by his lawyers.

"He wants to smear hundreds of thousands of people in this blood."

Moments after Putin's announcement, recruitment offices had already handed packs of conscription papers to homeowners' associations, said St Petersburg human rights lawyer Pavel Chikov, who advises clients on conscription.

Medics in Moscow were "receiving summonses from recruitment offices en masse to come and receive mobilisation orders", he said on a Telegram.

A major company told staff: "We already have employees who have received summonses for tomorrow. Everyone should be aware that it is possible they will be summoned in the morning and be unable to work the next day."

In the city of Kursk, closer to Ukraine, a woman married to a soldier said: "They're not letting people out of Kursk.

"There are police cordons everywhere, checking each car.

"If a man is driving, they inspect; if it's a woman, they ask her to open the luggage compartment.

"If the man is from Kursk, they turn you back."


  • Russia forcing hundreds of Ukrainian workers to fight against own men in mobilisation
  • Putin releases Brit Aiden Aslin after death sentence and months in Russian prison
  • Desperate Russians google 'How do I break my arm?' after Putin announces conscription
  • Putin nuke threat is 'hissy fit' after being snubbed for Queen's funeral, expert says
  • Surviving nuclear war in UK – estate agent shows map of safest places outside blast zone

Source: Read Full Article