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Hundreds arrested at anti-mobilisation protests across Russia


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More than 400 people have been arrested in demonstrations across Russia against President Vladimir Putin’s earlier announcement of a partial mobilization of civilians to fight in Ukraine, a police control group said Wednesday.

The OVD-Info monitoring group said at least 425 people were detained at rallies in 24 different cities across the country after Putin’s announcement in a speech to the nation.

AFP journalists in the center of the Russian capital said at least 50 people were detained by police wearing anti-riot gear on a main shopping street.

In Russia’s former imperial capital, Saint Petersburg, AFP reporters saw police surrounding a small group of protesters and detaining protesters one by one.

Protesters chanted “no mobilization!”

“I came to the rally planning to participate, but it seems they have already arrested everyone. This regime has condemned itself and is destroying its youth,” said Alexei, a 60-year-old resident who refused his last to give word. name.

“Why do you serve Putin, a man who has been in power for 20 years!” a young protester yelled at a police officer.

“I came to say that I am against war and mobilization,” Oksana Sidorenko, a student, told AFP.

“Why are they deciding my future for me? I’m afraid for myself, for my brother,” she added.

Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Wednesday that Russia would initially mobilize some 300,000 reservists after Putin warned in a televised speech that Russia would use all available military assets in Ukraine.

Flights from Russia were nearly fully booked this week, airline and travel agency data showed Wednesday, in an apparent exodus of people unwilling to join the conflict.


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