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Over 1,300 people arrested in Russia after a protest against Putin

Vladimir Putin announced a new policy on Wednesday that would send 300,000 into military service

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Riot police detain demonstrators during a protest against mobilization in Moscow, Russia.

Riot police detain demonstrators during a protest against mobilization in Moscow, Russia, on Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022. Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered a partial mobilization of reservists in Russia, effective immediately.

Alexander Zemlianichenko, Associated Press

Hundreds of people took to the streets Wednesday evening to protest Russian President Vladimir Putin’s announcement to partially mobilize the military, according to The New York Times. The mobilization would send 300,000 reservists to Ukraine for a counterattack.

What happened during the protest in Russia?

Protesters gathered in the streets of central Moscow, chanting “no mobilization.” The New York Times reported that protesters screamed, “Let our children live!” and “Send Putin to the trenches!”

Officers on the scene wearing helmets and tactical gear were striking protesters with batons and removing people from the crowd, per NBC. Over 1,300 people were detained across the country, according to CNBC.

Of those detained, 33 were minors, and CNN reports that one of the minors was “brutally beaten” by officers.

Why were protesters arrested in Russia?

Protesting is criminalized in Russia. In February, it became a criminal offense to spread “false information” about the military, and since March, it is an illegal act in the country to “discredit the Russian Army,” per the Times.

How long will protesters be detained?

Those participating in an unsanctioned protest could be punished with up to 15 years in prison. Despite warnings, protesters came to show discontent with the mobilization.