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Russians Protesting a Mile From Kremlin: ‘Send Putin to the Trenches’

Russian citizens assembled Wednesday in the streets of Moscow to protest President Vladimir Putin‘s mobilization of 300,000 additional troops in the Ukraine war.

Journalist Francis Scarr posted a video on Twitter of a nighttime crowd gathered on Moscow’s main pedestrian street of Arbat, shouting, “Send Putin to the trenches!” Arbat Street is situated no more than a mile from the Kremlin, Putin’s official residence.

The gathering followed Putin’s announcement on Wednesday in reaction to a Ukrainian counteroffensive in regions just like the Donbas. Portion of the mobilization carries a transfer of forces in Izyum and Balakliya for what Russian officials make reference to because the continued liberation of the Donetsk People’s Republic.

Putin repeatedly described Ukraine as a “neo-Nazi regime,” adding that mobilization is essential “to be able to protect our Motherland, its sovereignty and territorial integrity, to guarantee the security of our people and folks in the liberated territories.”

Protest Moscow Russia Mobilization Putin
Above, cops detain a guy in Moscow on September 21, 2022, following calls to protest against partial mobilization announced by President Vladimir Putin. Recent video from Moscow showed protesters yelling “send Putin to the trenches!”ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP via Getty Images

The protest scene in Moscow was among the multiple rebukes of Putin’s announcement. Demonstrations took place in Irkutsk in Siberia and Ulan-Ude in Russia’s asia, and also Khabarovsk and Yakutsk.

One Russian-language petition against conscription, titled ‘Against partial and total mobilization,’ was made on change.org and contains been signed over 140,000 times.

“We, the citizens of Russia, people, oppose general and partial mobilization,” the petition states. “President Vladimir Putin does not have any legal grounds, weighted and well-reasoned known reasons for announcing it, and cannot have any. In today’s state of uncertainty we have been not ready to expose our men – brothers, sons, husbands, fathers and grandfathers – to any moral, ethical or physical danger.”

This is not the very first time Putin’s faced pushback to his war in Ukraine. One former close ally of Putin’s, Russian journalist Zhanna Agalakova of the state-run TV network Channel One, has returned medals awarded by the Russian president in protest.

She quit her job in protest in March because of the invasion of Ukraine, saying Wednesday that Putin is “leading the united states to the abyss.”

Putin has been cracking down on dissenters, and the existing round of protests, called “illegal rallies” by Russian media outlets, could result in protesters being drafted. Putin’s allies and propagandists have said that participants will be described Russia’s Internal Affairs Ministry after detention and conscripted.

U.S. President Joe Biden harshly criticized Putin today at the US headquarters in NEW YORK for “shamelessly violat[ing]” the U.N. charter.

Biden said there’s nobody else at fault but Putin for the war which has nearly reached the seven-month mark: “No-one threatened Russia no an added than Russia sought conflict.”

Within an interview with Newsweek, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said protection of the Donbas region and the “demilitarization and denazification” of Ukraine” remains “relevant and you will be achieved, regardless of how long it could take.”

Newsweek reached out to the defense ministries of Russia and Ukraine for comment.

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