According to OVD-Info, an organization that specializes in counting arrests, there were protests in at least 38 cities across the country. These are the largest demonstrations in Russia since those that followed the announcement of the Russian offensive in Ukraine at the end of February.
At least 1,026 people were arrested across Russia on September 21 in protests against the partial mobilization for the offensive in Ukraine announced hours earlier by President Vladimir Putin, an NGO said.
AFP journalists in Moscow and Saint Petersburg witnessed several arrests in the center of these cities on Wednesday evening.
“Not after the war!” and “No to the mobilization!”
“Everyone is afraid. I’m for peace and I don’t want to have to shoot. But it’s very dangerous to go out now, otherwise there would have been a lot more people,” says St. Petersburg protester Vasily Fedorov, a student wearing a peace emblem on his chest.
Alexei Zavarki (60) lamented the police’s response to the rallies. “I came to participate, but it looks like they’ve already taken everyone,” he said. “I don’t know where we are going, this regime has signed its death warrant, it has destroyed the youth,” he assured.
In an address to the nation on Wednesday, Putin ordered a partial mobilization of Russian reservists for the offensive in Ukraine and said he was ready to use “all means” in his arsenal against the West.
jov (afp, euronews)