Published on: 09/23/2022 – 17:54 Several videos shot since Wednesday, September 21, show hundreds of Russian men leaving to fight on the Ukrainian front. Several improvised demonstrations against the partial mobilization announced by Vladimir Putin were held in the country: hundreds of people were arrested. Wednesday morning, September 21, a few hours after the announcement of a referendum to integrate the regions of Donbass, Kherson and Zaporijia into Russia, Vladimir Putin spoke on television. With a closed face, the Russian president announced the partial military mobilization of his population to reinforce the troops on the Ukrainian front: a first since the Second World War. Vladimir Putin clarified that “only citizens currently in the reserve” were concerned, in particular “those who have already served in the armed forces and have specific military specialties”. A few minutes later, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced that the State sought to recruit nearly 300,000 reservists, while on the ground, Kremlin troops retreated in the face of the counter-offensive launched by the Ukrainians. A disputed announcement The same day, hundreds of Russians spontaneously took to the streets to show their refusal of mobilization and reaffirm their opposition to the war in Ukraine. Москва, Арбат. Прямо сейчас. pic.twitter.com/ecRxeJXtvp— Ёшкин Крот (@yoshkinkrot) September 21, 2022 In Moscow, several hundred people gathered on the Arbat, one of the capital’s busiest pedestrian streets, to say no to the war in Ukraine“No to war”. St. Petersburg against the war pic.twitter.com/AUQPTVS3Nd— NEXTA (@nexta_tv) February 24, 2022 Opponents of the mobilization found themselves on Nevsky Avenue in St. Petersburg, quickly surrounded by law enforcement . These mobilizations, few in number, were quickly repressed by the Russian security forces, who made numerous arrests across the country. According to the Russian non-governmental organization OVD, which monitors mobilizations in Russia and regularly counts arrests, at least 1,330 people were arrested during the mobilizations against the war in Ukraine, in 42 cities. the partial mobilization made by Vladimir Putin also led to very many departures from the country, for fear of not being able to leave Russian territory later. On the air side, airline sites were taken by storm: direct flights, to Istanbul, Yerevan or Belgrade for example, were quickly sold out, while prices exploded in the face of peak demand. by road: hundreds of Russians took their vehicles and traveled to the various borders of the country, whether to Georgia, Serbia or Finland. The Finnish border guards have notably confirmed an increase in crossings, even if it is still quite limited. At the Upper Lars border crossing, a line of hundreds of cars formed in an attempt to reach neighboring Georgia. © @AlexandreGTKS Faced with these departures, the extent of which is still unknown, Germany announced on Thursday, through its Interior Minister Nancy Faeser, that it was ready to welcome deserters from the Russian army, given “threats of serious repression” hanging over them. A sometimes chaotic start to mobilization As of Wednesday afternoon, thousands of reservists were called to go to recruitment centers to register, before leaving to train in anticipation of their deployment in Ukraine. Several videos, which have appeared in recent days, show hundreds of men boarding buses with their belongings, from the republic of Dagestan to the republic of Yakutia. “Папа, пока! Возвращайся!”🇷🇺Старый Оскол. Белгородская область❤️ pic.twitter.com/axKCcQN3Vj— Vasilisa (@Vasilisa_2_0) September 22, 2022 In this video, men are waiting to get on a bus to check in, before. A child is heard shouting: “Daddy, goodbye, please come back”. The mobilization has also started in remote regions of Russia, such as here in Sokol, in the Far Eastern district. The men are gathered on the tarmac for a briefing, before boarding an Antonov AN-12 for the west of the country. The partial mobilization, which affects many families with sometimes young people sent to fight, is sometimes misunderstood by the population. #Russia 🇷🇺: tears in #Moscow as a son is being mobilized for the illegal war of an expansionist regime. pic.twitter.com/1OgNzzMx51— Thomas van Linge (@ThomasVLinge) September 22, 2022 This Muscovite family mourns the departure of one of the sons, called up for military service. Several similar scenes of crying families are circulating on social networks. Мобилизация в Дагестане не очень гладко идёт:— Мой дед воевал за Родину!
— В 1941-1945 году мы воевали, это была война. А сейчас это не война, это политика. pic.twitter.com/gANnYtd5gp— Руслан Ахалчи (@akhalchi) September 22, 2022 Several men who are called up shout at a woman in charge of registering them in Dagestan, who defends the war in Ukraine. Other videos, presumably filmed by conscripts themselves, show several reservists, visibly drunk, as the buses taking them to registration or training pause. In Yuzhno-Kurilsk, in the Kuril Islands archipelago, drunken conscripts fight among themselves before their departure. Seven months after the start of the war in Ukraine, this partial mobilization aims to reinforce the troops on the ground, whose losses remain uncertain.