According to OVD-Info, a human rights watchdog that monitors police activity, those who oppose Vladimir V. Putin’s call to force 300,000 civilians to enlist in the military continue to express their disapproval.
Members of the Vesna, or Spring, movement, who called for Saturday’s protests with the slogan “Don’t mobilize to the grave,” searched their home in St.Petersburg, as well as their homes. a number of activists and journalists work for independent news media. Such protests have been effectively criminalized in Russia, and social media videos depict riot police beating protesters in Moscow, St.Petersburg and other major cities including Irkutsk , Ulan-Ude, Tomsk, Chita, Khabarovsk and Saratov.
In the Siberian city of Novosibirsk, riot police move in a group of protesters held hands in a circle and sang an anti-war song popular in the 1960s called “May There Always Be Sunshine.” About 70 people there were detained. In Tomsk, a man Traffic stops when he shouted, “A peaceful life for our children” and “Don’t watch TV”, referring to propaganda on the state network. He was arrested within minutes.
President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine directly encouraged the protesters, speaking in Russian in his nightly speech on Saturday. “Russian commanders don’t care about Russian lives – they just fill in the gaps left by dead, wounded, runaways or captured Russian soldiers,” he said. added, “The big moment has come for you: Right now it’s being decided whether your life is over or not. “
Concerns about the mandate increased after independent news outlets, including Meduza and Novaya Gazeta, reported that sources close to the Kremlin had told them that the government expected to raise up to 1.2 million Everyone.
Thousands more have fled since then, and many flights to destinations where Russians do not require visas have sold out. The border crossings with Finland and Georgia are congested with cars.
Russians are rallying to protest despite a warning from the prosecutor’s office, issued on Wednesday, that unorganized protests could lead to penalties of up to 15 years in prison for crimes “spreading misinformation” about the military, which became a criminal offense in March.
Despite the Kremlin’s crackdown on dissent, people took to the streets to protest. More than 1,300 protesters have detained on Wednesday, according to OVD-Info, while several protests were reported on Thursday, including in Dagestan, an impoverished southern region where anti-draft protesters blocked a highway federal speed.
Russian authorities have discovered a new way to try to quell protests: by giving detained male protesters draft summons. Some of the protesters arrested on Wednesday told The New York Times that they were given notices during their detention.
Margarita Simonyan, editor of the state television network RT, wrote on Twitter that at least 200 summons have been issued in this way so far, and more are being prepared. Referring to a Russian city bordering Ukraine, she wrote, “They’re better than Teacher of the Year from Pskov, if you ask me.”