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Putin mobilization order triggers protests, then mass arrests in Russia

Russian police arrested hundreds of people Wednesday night for protesting against President Vladimir Putin’s troop mobilization decree.

A domestic human rights group, OVD-Info, said that more than 1,300 people had been detained, according to information it had collected from 38 Russian cities across the country.

Videos posted to social media showed people chanting “No to war!” in major Russian cities.

The largest numbers were arrested at rallies in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Unsanctioned rallies are illegal under Russia’s anti-protest laws.

Flights out of Russia have sky-rocketed in price — and are selling out — following Putin’s address Wednesday in which he called for a partial mobilization of troops to fight in the war against Ukraine, where Russian forces have suffered recent battlefield defeats.

Putin’s order came in the wake of Kremlin-installed proxies in four Ukrainian regions pledging Tuesday to hold referendums this week to join the Russian Federation.

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