More than 500 people have been detained across Russia in a crackdown on anti-war protests across two dozen cities in Russia, according to the independent monitoring group OVD-Info.
About 100 arrests were made at protests in St. Petersburg after President Vladimir Putin’s announcement of a partial mobilization to increase the availability of troops for the war in Ukraine.
Photos released on OVD-Info’s Telegram channel showed police in Saint Petersburg using batons against protesters. Videos show police attempting to contain a crowd gathering at Isakiivskiy Cathedral behind barriers, amid chants of “no mobilization.”
Social media video geolocated by CNN showed protests in several cities, each involving what appeared to have been a few dozen people.
Videos from Moscow showed protesters being carried away by the police at a demonstration in the center of the city.
One video posted by a journalist from the Moscow web publication The Village includes dozens of people in Arbatskaya street chanting “let him go” as one man is carried away.
There was also video from the city of Yekaterinburg of a struggle between police officers and protesters.
As of 8 pm Moscow time, 535 people had been detained in 30 cities across Russia, according to OVD-Info.
Arrests took place in Irkutsk and Krasnoyarsk, Yekaterinburg, Chelyabinsk, Novosibirsk, Ulan-Ude, Tomsk, Ufa, Perm, Belgorod and Moscow, according to the OVD-info tally.
Moscow prosecutor’s office published a statement Wednesday warning citizens against participation in protests, threatening those with up to 15 years in jail.