Top Line

On Wednesday, more than 1,200 protesters were arrested in 38 Russian cities. according For the independent Russian human rights organization OVD-Info, as people took to the streets to protest Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to draft 300,000 military reservists, as the country suffered major setbacks in its invasion of Ukraine.

Key Facts

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OVD-Info said at least 510 people were detained in St. Petersburg, while 468 were arrested in the capital Moscow by 10 p.m. local time.

Video Crowds of people gathered on social media to protest partial mobilization in Moscow and other cities across the country, while others scrambled to buy one-way plane tickets to leave the country.

The protests are one of the largest nationwide since the war broke out in Ukraine in late February, when more than 2,000 people were killed. taken into custody To condemn the Kremlin’s decision to invade Ukraine.

big number

16,437. How many people have been detained for expressing anti-war sentiments since Russia began its invasion of Ukraine in February, according ovd-for info.

main background

Putin's decision to order a partial mobilization of reservists - the first time the country has done so since World War II - comes as the Kremlin struggles to recruit new troops and as Russia suffers on the battlefield. is, with Ukraine reclaiming control In the entire eastern Ukrainian Kharkiv region last week. Officials said 300,000 reservists could be called up, though the announcement pointed to a lack of details. concerns The scope of the effort can be expanded. In a pre-recorded televised speech on Wednesday morning, Putin also made an veiled threat that he might resort to nuclear escalation, saying Russia was ready to use all means necessary to protect the country's territorial integrity. Is. Russian government put strict limits Organized protests and discontent over the years, but in recent months, Putin has increasingly moved to crack down on those who spoke out against the war in Ukraine, passing a law immediately after the invasion began making it punishable by up to 15 years. offense has been made. Jail for spreading "false news" about the Russian military. Several prominent Russian opposition activists have been arrested this year for publicly criticizing the Kremlin, including opposition politician Ilya Yashin and his aide Vladimir Kara-Murza, as well as a Russian state television journalist who in March During a live broadcast, headlines were made for opposing the war. ,

Over 1,000 Russians detained for protesting partial military mobilization (axial)

Putin orders partial military call-up, protests erupt (The Associated Press)