Russia inducts anti-war protesters amid nationwide protests: watchdog group


As the first stage of Russia’s newpartial mobilization“While Thursday was going on, videos appeared on social media showing newly mobilized men preparing to deploy.

A community video channel posted clips of families saying goodbye to a large group of men as they boarded buses – in the city of Nerungi – six time zones in the east of Ukraine. In the video, a woman is seen crying and saying goodbye to her husband by hugging him while he reaches out to hold his daughter’s hand through the bus window.

Other videos showed more men apparently waiting for transport at Magadan airport in Yakutia, a vast Siberian region, and in the Russian Far East. CNN is not able to independently determine the geographic location or date of all videos posted.

Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier this week called for a “partial mobilization” of Russia’s population to support the war in Ukraine, at a time when a sudden counter attack It has taken thousands of square miles from Kyiv and put Moscow on the back foot. Experts say that Russia’s forces notably finished,

will see the announcement 300,000 reservoirs Called, according to Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.

In an early sign of how seriously Moscow is taking its efforts, Russia’s Human Rights Council has proposed that immigrants from Central Asian countries who have held Russian citizenship for less than 10 years be allowed to stay in Russia for a year. Must undergo compulsory military service.

“We are preparing proposals for new citizens of the Russian Federation who have Russian citizenship for less than 10 years to perform compulsory military service for one year for people from Central Asian countries: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan,” council member Kirill Kabanov wrote on Telegram on Thursday.

“Refusal to perform military duty should lead to deprivation of Russian citizenship not only for a person liable for military service, but also for members of his family,” he said.

In his speech, Putin said that those with military experience would be subject to enlistment, and stressed that the accompanying decree – which had already been signed – was to “protect our homeland, its sovereignty and its territorial integrity”. was necessary for.

But it appears that the decree allowed for much broader mobilization than he had suggested in his speech. Ekaterina Shulman, a Russian political scientist and Associate Fellow at the Chatham House think tank, said on Telegram that while the decree “partly describes mobilization,” it “sets no criteria for this partisanship, either regional or hierarchical. ”

“According to this text, anyone can be called, except those working in the military-industrial complex, who are exempted for the duration of their employment. The fact remains that mobilization is only for reservists or some particularly necessary skill.” It is mentioned in the address, but not in the decree.

Russian human rights lawyer Pavel Chikov said the decree stipulated mobilization “in broader terms”.

“The President is leaving it to the discretion of the Defense Minister. So in fact it is the Russian Defense Ministry that will decide who will be sent into battle, from where and in what numbers,” Chikov said on Telegram.

Following the speech, at least 1,300 people were detained across Russia on Wednesday for participating in nationwide anti-war protests – some directly enlisted in the military, according to a watchdog group leader by Vladimir Putinpartial mobilization“For the citizens faltering attack of Ukraine,

Images and videos show police cracking down on protesters in several cities, with footage Police and authorities in St Petersburg try to stop a crowd chanting “no mobilization” outside Isakivsky Cathedral, showing several protesters at a demonstration in central Moscow.

Police detained protesters in 38 Russian cities on Wednesday, according to data released shortly after midnight by the independent watchdog group OVD-Info. Group spokeswoman Maria Kuznetsova told CNN over the phone that at least four police stations in Moscow, some of the protesters arrested by riot police, were being directly enlisted in the Russian military.

He said one of the detainees has been threatened with prosecution for refusing to draft. The government has said that the punishment for refusing the draft is now 15 years in prison. According to OVD-Info, of the more than 1,300 people detained nationwide, more than 500 were in Moscow and more than 520 in St. Petersburg.

OVD-Info also said that more than half of the detained protesters are women, whose names have been made public, making it the largest anti-government demonstration of women’s participation in recent history. The watchdog specified that the full scale of the arrest is unknown, however.

Nine journalists and 33 minors are also among those taken into custody.

Putin also raised the threat of nuclear weapons in his address and said he would use “all the means at our disposal” if Russia’s “territorial integrity” was at risk. He also supported the referendum on joining Russia that Russian-appointed leaders in Ukraine’s four occupied territories announced they would hold this week.

Concern was evident among Russian citizens on Wednesday, with travel agency websites showing Dramatic increase in demand for flights In places where the Russians had a . do not require Visa. Flight sales websites show direct flights to countries that are sold out as of at least Friday.

On Thursday, a spokesman for the European Commission acknowledged that several requests had been made by Russian citizens hoping to enter EU countries. He said the EU is planning to establish a joint position on the matter.

The European Commission also noted that, for now, each Member State would need to assess entry requests on a case-by-case basis, EU external border management should be carried out in line with EU law and “Fundamental” must follow. Right to asylum procedures and all laws apply.”

Riot police detain a protester during an anti-war protest in Moscow, Russia, on September 21.

The protests in Russia, most of which attracted a few dozen people, were another strong indication of the desperation felt by some. Dissent in Russia is generally swiftly crushed and put forward by the authorities free speech ban After the invasion of Ukraine.

Social media footage showed several protesters in Ulan Ude, eastern Siberia, saying “Not for war! Not for mobilization! ” and “Our husband, father and brother do not want to kill another husband and father!”

“We want our fathers, husbands and brothers to live… and not to leave our children as orphans. Stop the war and don’t take our people!” said one demonstrator.

Videos from Yekaterinburg in western Russia show police manhandling several demonstrators. CNN could not independently confirm footage from either city.

Another video posted by a journalist for Moscow Internet publication The Village shows dozens of people chanting “let him go” in Arbatskaya street as a man is carried away.

The Moscow prosecutor’s office warned on Wednesday against distributing information calling for participation or participation in protests to citizens – reminding people they could face up to 15 years in prison.

Asked about reports of people being detained at anti-war rallies, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the practice was “not against the law. There is no violation of the law here.”

Putin’s announcement was condemned on Wednesday by Western leaders, many of whom were meeting at the inauguration United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York.

In a rare joint statement, UK Prime Minister Liz Truss and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said both agreed that Putin’s announcement of a partial mobilization of Russian citizens was a sign of “weakness”.

EU foreign ministers in New York agreed to proceed with new round of sanctions against Russia, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell told reporters.

Ukraine was in defiance in the face of Putin’s declaration, with President Volodymyr Zelensky telling the UNGA in a pre-recorded address on Wednesday that Russia was “afraid of real (peace) talks,” and pointed to Russian “lies”. did.

Zelensky said Russia “talks about negotiating but announces a military mobilization.” “Russia wants war.”

On Thursday, German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht said Putin’s “partial mobilization” only strengthened the country’s support for Ukraine. French Defense Minister Sébastien Lecornu said his country would continue its support for Ukraine in terms of arms and training, but added that to do so, France needed cooperation within NATO.

Meanwhile, an analysis by researchers from the Institute for the Study of War said that the move will have no effect on the immediate outcome of the war.

The analysis said it would take weeks or months to get the reservists to combat readiness, that the Russian reservists are “initially poorly trained,” and that “any” from the “deliberate phase” of deployment outlined by Russia’s defense minister. likely to stop. A sudden influx of Russian forces that could dramatically turn the tide of the war.”

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