Protesters hit streets of Russia as anger rages at Putin's mobilisation

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Protesters have been detained by armed officers as activists gathered to oppose Vladimir Putin’s declaration of a partial mobilisation. The Russian President declared 300,000 reserve soldiers would be mobilised to continue the invasion of Ukraine. The announcement marked a pivotal moment in the conflict as the Kremlin has been reluctant to mobilise forces, prefering to maintain the narrative of the “special military operation” in Ukraine being a limited military exercise to bring the country under Moscow’s control.

Video footage from the city of Yekaterinburg in the east of Russia captured protesters being rounded up by state police forces.

The activists, with their arms held tightly behind their backs, were swiftly marched over to waiting buses and loaded on board.

Anti-war groups have urged Russian citizens to take to the street in a string of coordinated demonstrations against Putin’s partial mobilisation decree in cities across the country.

Vesna, a Russian anti-war movement, wrote on Telegram: “The situation is extremely difficult. The war is no longer ‘out there’ – it has come to our country, our homes, for our relatives.”

Further arrests were reported at demonstrations in Chelyabinsk, Izhevsk and Moscow. Footage in Moscow showed a crowd chanting “send Putin to the trenches” in one of the main streets in the city.

OVD-Info, an independent Russian human rights monitor, confirmed there had been a number of arrests across the country following opposition to the mobilisation decree.

A statement regarding the Yekaterinburg protest read: “At least 38 people were detained at an anti-war rally against mobilisation on Labor Square.”

In the capital city, a one-man picket close to the Kremlin television broadcast centre resulted in the arrest of protester Valdimir Saltevsky, who has been arrested before for similar activism.

Read more: Russia is recruiting ‘thieves and killers’ from prisons

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