Russian women bravely defied Putin’s soldiers during anti-mobilization demonstrations that arrested more than 2,000 protesters as men flee to Georgia to avoid conscription.
In the predominantly Muslim area of Dagestan, videos shared on social media show women wearing headscarves chasing police from a rally and standing in front of police cars carrying detained protesters demanding their release.
Dozens of women chanted ‘No to war!’ in the Dagestani capital Makhachkala today as police fired warning shots to disperse more than 100 people blocking a highway in the region while protesting Vladimir Putin’s military appeal, according to Russian media.
The OVD-Info group, an independent Russian human rights monitor, said it was concerned about reports of “very heavy detentions” in the region and said officers had resorted to using stun guns and batons on the crowd.
Women also protested in the Siberian city of Yakutsk, chanting ‘No to genocide!’ and marched in a circle around the police, who later dragged some away or forced them into police vans, according to videos shared by Russian media.
At least 2,000 people have been arrested for similar demonstrations in Russia in recent days. Many of the deportees immediately received a summons.
Thousands have therefore chosen to flee to neighboring countries instead, with photos showing people dragging suitcases across the Georgian border.
Videos shared on social media show locals wrestling with officers in the Dagestani capital Makhachkala, where dozens of women are saying ‘No to war!’ chanted. at a protest against mobilization
Meanwhile, thousands have chosen to flee to neighboring countries instead, with photos showing people dragging suitcases across the Georgian border
Those carrying flights, ponchos and raincoats walk past vehicles with Russian license plates at the Nizhniy Lars customs checkpoint between Georgia and Russia.
Russian authorities have acknowledged that there is a “significant” influx of cars trying to cross into Georgia from Russia today.
Although the European Union is now largely off limits to most Russians, with direct flights stopped and land borders increasingly closed to them, an exodus of Russian men fleeing military service is causing division among European officials as to whether they to have a safe harbour.
German officials have expressed a desire to help Russian men leaving military service and have called for a European solution. Germany has provided the opportunity to grant asylum to deserters and those who refuse conscription.
In the predominantly Muslim area of Dagestan, videos shared on social media show women wearing headscarves chasing police from a demonstration
Those fleeing pass vehicles with Russian license plates at the Nizhniy Lars customs checkpoint between Georgia and Russia
According to the independent monitoring group OVD-Info, more than 2,000 people have been detained across Russia for protesting conscription, including 798 people in 33 cities on Saturday.
In France, senators argue that Europe has a duty to help and warned that not allowing refuge to fleeing Russians could play into Putin’s hands and fuel his narrative of Western hostility towards Russia.
“Closing our borders would not suit our values or our interests,” said a group of more than 40 French senators. Sending fleeing Russians away would be ‘a mistake by Europe in the war of communication and influence that is unfolding’.
Still other EU countries are adamant that asylum should not be offered to Russian men who are now fleeing – as the war enters its eighth month. They include Lithuania, which borders Kaliningrad, a Russian exclave on the Baltic Sea. Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis tweeted: “Russians must stay and fight. Against Putin.’
Zelensky claims Putin’s rush to recruit ‘1 million’ men is proof Russian army ‘cannot fight’
The Ukrainian president spoke today about how Russia’s rush to mobilize hundreds of thousands of recruits is a tacit admission that its “army is incapable of fighting.”
Speaking to US broadcaster CBS, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy also said he is bracing for more Russian attacks on Ukraine’s electrical infrastructure as the Kremlin tries to increase pressure on Ukraine and its Western lenders as the weather gets colder. is becoming. Zelenskyy warned that this winter is “going to be very difficult.”
“They will fire missiles, and they will attack our power grid. This is a challenge, but we are not afraid of it,” he says.
He portrayed the Russian mobilization – the first such call since World War II – as a signal of weakness, not strength, saying: “They admitted that their army is no longer capable of fighting Ukraine.”
Its counterpart in Latvia, also an EU member bordering Russia, said the exodus poses “significant security risks” to the bloc of 27 countries and those fleeing now cannot be considered conscientious objectors, as they failed to act when Russia invaded Ukraine in February. .
Many “allowed killing Ukrainians, they didn’t protest then,” Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics tweeted. He added that they still have “enough countries to go outside the EU.”
Finland also said it plans to “significantly restrict” access by Russians entering the EU through its border with Russia. A Finnish opposition leader, Petteri Orpo, said fleeing Russian military reservists pose a “clear” security risk and that “we must put our national security first.”
Russia continues to call on hundreds of thousands of men to reverse recent losses. Without control of the skies over Ukraine, Russia is also increasingly using suicide drones from Iran, with more attacks reported today in the Black Sea port city of Odessa.
The clock is ticking for Ukrainian and Russian military planners, and the approaching winter is expected to make fighting much more complicated. The rainy weather is already creating muddy conditions that are beginning to limit the mobility of tanks and other heavy weapons, the Washington-based Institute for the Study of War said today.
But the think tank said Ukrainian forces are still gaining ground in their counter-offensive launched in late August, that Russian occupation has rolled back over much of the northeast, and that Putin’s renewed push for reinforcements has also sparked.
The Kremlin said its initial goal is to add about 300,000 troops to its invasion force, which is struggling with equipment loss, increasing casualties and weakening morale. The mobilization marks a sharp shift from Putin’s previous attempts to portray the war as a limited military operation that would not interfere with the lives of most Russians.
The mobilization goes hand in hand with Kremlin-orchestrated votes in four occupied regions of Ukraine that could pave the way for their impending annexation by Russia.
Ukraine and its Western allies say the referendums in the Kherson and Zaporizhzhya regions of the south and the eastern regions of Luhansk and Donetsk have no legal validity, not least because many tens of thousands of their people have fled. They also call them a ‘sham’. Some footage shows armed Russian troops going door-to-door to pressure Ukrainians to vote.
The Kremlin also appears to have sent soldiers to force Ukrainians to vote, according to residents who say troops came to their homes in occupied territories to force the “vote.”
A Ukrainian journalist has posted a video allegedly showing Russian troops break into his family’s residence before being forced to vote in ‘sham’ referendums in occupied territories of Ukraine
“My family was just forced to vote at gunpoint in Russian cosplay of a ‘referendum’ in southern Ukraine,” said Maxim Eristavi, journalist and co-founder of Hromadske International, a broadcasting station in Ukraine.
The Ukrainian journalist posted a video that claimed to show armed soldiers entering the corridors where his family lives and forcing them to vote to join Russia.
Western countries have accused Russia of organizing illegal referendums in Ukraine as a pretext to annex parts of its neighbor.
Kiev called the exercise a brazen attempt by Russia to hold occupied territory now threatened by the Ukrainian army’s counter-offensive.