According to OVD-Info, an organization that specializes in counting arrests, demonstrations took place in at least 38 cities across the country. These are the largest protests in Russia since the announcement of Russian aggression in Ukraine at the end of February.
An NGO reported that at least 1,026 people were arrested across Russia this September 21 in protests against a partial mobilization for an attack on Ukraine hours before President Vladimir Putin.
AFP journalists in Moscow and St Petersburg witnessed several arrests in the center of those cities on Wednesday night.
“Not to war!” and “No gathering!”
“Everyone is afraid. I’m for peace, I don’t want to shoot. But it’s too dangerous to go out now, otherwise there would have been a lot more people,” said St. Petersburg protester Vasily Fedorov. A student with a peace symbol on his chest.
Alexei Zavarki, 60, lamented the police response to the rallies. “I came to participate, but it seems they have already taken everyone,” he said. “I don’t know where we are going, this regime has signed the death sentence, destroyed the youth,” he vowed.
In a speech to the nation on Wednesday, he ordered a partial mobilization of Russian reservists for an offensive in Ukraine and said he was ready to use “every means” in his arsenal against the West.
Jov (AFP, Euronews)
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