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Russia Arrests Hundreds Protesting Against War Mobilization

Russian police arrested hundreds of people protesting against President Vladimir Putin‘s order to call up 300,000 reservists to fight in the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

According to OVD-Info, a human rights group, more than 1,300 were detained, most of them in St. Petersburg and Moscow.

The watchdog organization shared some of the arrests on social media. The video below, published on Thursday, shows the moment when a protester is surrounded by police officers in St. Petersburg.

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Putin declared a partial mobilization in a rare national televised address on Wednesday. The decision was announced after a series of military setbacks in recent weeks.

On the same day, the Russian leader also raised concerns around a nuclear escalation. Without proof, he accused NATO of using weapons of mass destructions against Russia and claimed his country has “more modern [weapons] than the weapons NATO countries have.”

The protests take place as the Kremlin started to orchestrate sham referendums on joining Russia in four occupied areas in Ukraine on Friday.

The process is considered illegal under international law. The White House said on Friday it is planning additional sanctions if Russia moves forward with the annexation plan.

“The United States will never recognize Ukrainian territory as anything other than part of Ukraine,” President Joe Biden said in a statement.

Marcello Correa

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