June 10, 2023

Protesters have detained more than 1,300 people across Russia to protest President Vladimir Putin’s announcement of a partial mobilization of the military reserves, an independent monitoring group said Wednesday.

More than 1,000 protesters were taken into custody in the country’s two most populous cities – Moscow and St Petersburg – but the group, OVD-Info, said people were detained in a total of 38 cities.

Anti-protest laws in Russia prevent unauthorized demonstrations. The Moscow prosecutor’s office warned that taking part in one could lead to up to 15 years in prison. The Associated Press reported.

Photo: Moscow protests
Police officers detain a man following a call to protest against a partial gathering in Moscow on September 21, 2022.Alexander Nemenov / AFP – Getty Images

In a statement quoted by Russian news agencies, an Interior Ministry official said that “unauthorized actions were attempted in several regions that brought together a very small number of participants.”

Video of protests outside a church in St. Petersburg Officers in helmets and tactical gear beat protesters with batons. inside Another video outside the churchAuthorities were seen taking people away from the group one by one.

The latest in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

In Moscow, a video showed security forces holding a man to the ground as crowds chanted, “Let the man go.”

“I’m not afraid of anything,” said one protester in Moscow who declined to be identified told AP. “The most precious thing they can take from us is the life of our children. I will not give them my child’s life.”

Protesters took to the streets after Putin announced the rally amid continued battlefield devastation from Ukraine and successful counterattacks by that country’s armed forces.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said 300,000 reservists with relevant combat and service experience would be called up initially.

Brian Gallion, Maya Brown And Rania Soetiro contribution.

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