Ukraine: More than 1,300 arrested after Putin’s mobilisation announcement sparks protests across Russia | World News

Protesters have clashed with police in Moscow as anger erupted over Vladimir Putin’s declaration of a partial mobilisation in Russia.

Crowds took to the streets of the Russian capital after the Kremlin announced 300,000 reserves would be called up to continue its invasion of Ukraine.

Demonstrators shouted “No to war” in a show of defiance as some were pinned to the ground or dragged away after being detained by armed police.

Ukraine war live: President Biden condemns ‘reckless’ nuclear war threat

At least 300 people in Moscow were among more than 1,371 detained across 38 cities nationwide on Wednesday night.

Reporting from the capital, Sky News correspondent Diana Magnay said demonstrators were being dealt with “brutally”, describing the crowds as “extraordinarily brave” for openly expressing their views in what is a police state.

“We haven’t seen protests in cities for the last five or six months, people have been so scared of the fact that they will be detained, and that is clearly what is happening,” Magnay said.

Russians have faced the prospect of being detained for attending an anti-government rally for years – but they have also been silenced by military censorship since the invasion began on 24 February.

Thousands joined ant-war protests at the start of the conflict – in spite of potential consequences, including losing their jobs and even being jailed – but now many are too fearful to speak out.

Russian police officers detain a man during an unsanctioned rally, after opposition activists called for street protests against the mobilisation of reservists ordered by President Vladimir Putin, in Moscow, Russia September 21, 2022. REUTERS/REUTERS PHOTOGRAPHER
Russian police officers detain a man during an unsanctioned rally, after opposition activists called for street protests against the mobilisation of reservists ordered by President Vladimir Putin, in Moscow, Russia September 21, 2022. REUTERS/REUTERS PHOTOGRAPHER

“Many are worried about the escalation and don’t want to fight”, Magnay added.

Footage of the scuffles showed multiple uniformed officers surrounding individual protesters.

One woman was seen being escorted away as she tried to stop police detaining another male demonstrator.

Russian police officers detain a man during an unsanctioned rally, after opposition activists called for street protests against the mobilisation of reservists ordered by President Vladimir Putin, in Moscow, Russia September 21, 2022. REUTERS/REUTERS PHOTOGRAPHER
Image:
Hundreds of people took to the streets to demonstrate against the partial mobilisation.
Russian police officers detain a man during an unsanctioned rally, after opposition activists called for street protests against the mobilisation of reservists ordered by President Vladimir Putin, in Moscow, Russia September 21, 2022. REUTERS/REUTERS PHOTOGRAPHER
Image:
A woman flanked by officers in Moscow.
Russian police officers detain a man during an unsanctioned rally, after opposition activists called for street protests against the mobilisation of reservists ordered by President Vladimir Putin, in Moscow, Russia September 21, 2022. REUTERS/REUTERS PHOTOGRAPHER

However, some among the older generations have been convinced mobilisation is necessary, Magnay said.

Mr Putin addressed the nation this morning for the first time since sending troops into battle in February, in what Russia has described as a “special military operation”.

Read more:

Analysis: Russia makes new stand after rapid Ukrainian offensive
Five British prisoners of war detained by Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine are released

In a pre-recorded clip, he stressed the order was only for a partial mobilisation: “Only those who are in reserve will be conscripted”.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

In an address filled with announcements about the ‘special military operation’ in Ukraine, Russia’s president says he will use ‘weapons of destruction’ to defend his country.

But he vowed Russia would use every tool in its arsenal to protect its territory as he issued a nuclear threat to Western leaders, warning them: “I am not bluffing”.

The Kremlin had earlier said it was not considering a partial or full mobilisation.

This morning’s announcement came two weeks after Ukraine’s rapid offensive saw it reclaim control of towns in the Kharkiv region – as Moscow was forced to withdraw from two front line positions.

Many scrambled to leave Russia with flights scheduled to depart Moscow sold out, as the price of any remaining soars to thousands of pounds.