War in Ukraine: more than 1000 arrests in anti-mobilization demonstrations in Russia

War in Ukraine: Over 1000 arrests in anti-mobilization protests in Russia

UPDATE DAY

MOSCOW | At least 1,026 people were arrested in Russia on Wednesday during spontaneous demonstrations against the partial mobilization for the offensive in Ukraine, announced in the morning by President Vladimir Putin, according to an NGO. 

< p>According to OVD-Info, an organization specializing in counting arrests, the mobilizations took place in at least 38 cities in the country. 

These are the largest protests in Russia since those following the announcement of Moscow's offensive in Ukraine in late February.

AFP journalists in Moscow saw at least 50 arrests on one of the central arteries of the capital. In St. Petersburg, Russia's second largest city, a busload of arrestees was taken by police to the center.

Protesters chanted “No to war! » and « No mobilization!

“Everyone is afraid. I'm for peace and I don't want to have to shoot. But it is very dangerous to go out now, otherwise there would have been many more people,” said a protester in Saint Petersburg, Vasily Fedorov, a student who sports a pacifist emblem on his chest.

Alexei Zavarki, 60, regrets the immediate police response to the rallies.

“I came to participate, but it seems that they have already taken everyone on board,” he says, before adding : “I don't know where we are going, this regime has signed its death warrant, is destroying the youth”.

“Why are you serving Putin? A man seated on his throne for twenty years! shouts another demonstrator in the direction of the police.

“I am afraid for me, for my brother, who is 25 years old and who has done his military service. It can be called, ”says student Oksana Sidorenko. “Why is my future decided for me? »

War in Ukraine: Over 1000 arrests in anti-mobilization protests in Russia

War in Ukraine: more than 1000 arrests in anti-mobilization protests in Russia

In an address to the nation on Wednesday morning, Mr. Putin decreed a partial mobilization of Russian reservists for the offensive in Ukraine and assured that he was ready to use “all means” in its arsenal against the West.