Over 1,250 demonstrators arrested in Russia at anti-mobilization protests

An anti-mobilization protester is arrested in Moscow on Wednesday.
(Image credit: Alexander Nemenov/AFP via Getty Images)

More than 1,250 protesters were arrested across Russia on Wednesday after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a partial mobilization of reservists, the human rights watchdog OVD-Info said.

Putin is looking to bulk up his forces in Ukraine, where Russia has had high battlefield losses and recently lost ground during a Ukrainian counteroffensive. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said only those with previous military experience are eligible to be drafted, and up to 300,000 reservists are expected to be called up to serve.

The arrests were made in 38 cities, including Moscow, where The New York Times reports hundreds of protesters gathered to chant "Send Putin to the trenches" and "Let our children live!" After Russia invaded Ukraine in late February, it became illegal to "disseminate false information" and "discredit the Russian Army," and the general prosecutor's office issued a warning on Wednesday saying anyone involved in an unauthorized protest could face up to 15 years in prison.

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