Facebook Instagram Twitter YouTube

Mass Arrests in Russia during Nationwide Anti-War Mobilizations

Nationwide protests were called in Russia on Saturday against the war and against Putin’s recent announcement to mobilize reservists. Demonstrators were met with mass arrests.

Facebook Twitter Share
Russian protester being arrested by Russian police.

Police arrested over 750 people across a dozen Russian cities during Saturday’s nationwide day of protests. These protests were against President Vladimir Putin’s announcement of the mobilization of around 300,000 people to active duty, and against the war in general.

In recent days, spontaneous protests have erupted in many cities and towns where have been allegations of forced recruitment in order to send young people and adults to the front lines, including many of those without education or who have medical conditions.

But on Saturday, a nationwide day of protests was organized for the first time since Putin appeared on national television last Wednesday announcing the partial mobilization of reservists and his raising the specter of using nuclear weapons. The protests, which began in cities such as Novosibirsk, Tomsk, Khabarovsk, and Ivanovo, from Siberia to the center of the country, were followed by marches in Moscow and St. Petersburg, along with other locations across the country, according to the youth and peace movement Vesná (Spring), which has called for the demonstrations. On Wednesday, at least 1,300 people were arrested in 40 cities for protesting against the partial mobilization of reservists.

RUSSIA: National day of marches against the war and the forced mobilization of reservists.

Police are arresting hundreds of demonstrators. Here are images from Novosibirsk.)

In Novosibirsk in Siberia, there were at least 73 arrests, at least 17 in Irkutsk, and 14 in Tomsk,. In Khabarovsk in the Far East, Inna Postnikova was arrested with a banner saying “Fight yourself, give birth yourself” and charged with discrediting the Armed Forces, which is punishable by up to 15 years in prison, then released. In Chita, Siberia, Marina Salomatova, a member of the “Transbaikal Civil Solidarity” movement, was arrested for carrying a piece of paper on which she had written “we are not meat,” in reference to the at least 300,000 men, with little prior training, who are set to be mobilized under Putin’s decree to go fight in Ukraine. The repressive forces also detained Ulan-Ude human rights activist Nadejda Nizovkina, who was interviewing protesters and those on the square in the capital of the republic of Buryatia.

A Turnaround after the Ukrainian Counteroffensive

Putin’s official statement last Wednesday was his first since Ukrainian forces launched a successful counteroffensive in several occupied cities. The Zelenskyy government’s propaganda images showed a disbanded retreat and abandoned Russian tanks and vehicles. Regardless of whether this information is true or not, the fact is that the critical ultranationalist voices within Russia soon followed. Although demands from several sectors had been multiplying, such as a bolder incursion from Putin and the dismissal of the military commanders who had led to the current disaster, they were heard clearly after the Ukrainian counteroffensive.

The Kremlin-friendly head of state of the Chechen Republic, Ramzan Kadyrov, among others, questioned the recent prisoner exchange between Russian servicemen and members of the Azov Battalion, which contains Ukrainian mercenaries and pro-Nazi Ukrainian servicemen. He was clear in his message to Putin that it was an aberration and that they had not been consulted about it. Let us recall that Putin justified his reactionary invasion on the basis of a supposed “denazification” of Ukraine, a justification supported by the ultranationalist sectors that do not look favorably on the surrender of members of the Azov Battalion. These critiques from the ultranationalist sectors provoked the recent announcement of the partial mobilization of reservists.

This turn by Putin, which in recent days was accompanied by images of forced conscription in order to initiate the mobilization of reservists, as well as multiple expressions of discontent, brings the Russian population closer to a reality that until now felt distant for many people. The announcement of the mobilization of reservists is beginning to hit a large number of Russian families, especially those most impoverished sectors.

This tug of war between the demands of the ultranationalist wing and sectors of the population that are beginning to realize that the war is closer than they thought shape the coming days and weeks. And it won’t be easy for Putin.

First Published in Spanish on September 24 in La Izquierda Diario.

Translation by Molly Rosenzweig

Facebook Twitter Share

La Izquierda Diario Argentina

Our Argentinian sister site, part of the international network of La Izquierda Diario


Tracking, Deportations, Internment: European Countries Go on the Hunt for Migrants

On May 10, German chancellor Olaf Scholz strengthened Germany’s anti-migrant policy. This means more deportations, border patrol reinforcements, and economic agreements with sending countries. The new policy is being deployed throughout Europe.

Leo Stella

May 25, 2023
People in Berlin demonstrating on the 75th anniversary of the Nakhba.

Berlin Police Attack Jews and Palestinians Commemorating the Nakba

On the 75th anniversary of the Nakba, the Berlin police banned all Palestinian demonstrations, and broke up a demonstration of Jewish Berliners in solidarity with Palestinians.

Nathaniel Flakin

May 22, 2023

In France, There is No Return to Normal for Macron

Anger of the French people at Macron's pension reform is far from extinguished, despite moves by the Inter-Union bureaucracy which weakened the movement.

Juan Chingo

May 20, 2023

The French Union Bureaucracy Tries to Bury the Movement Against the Pension Reform by Resuming “Social Dialogue”

After historic May 1st protests, the Inter-Union announced the following day that the next mobilization will take place on Tuesday, June 6. This distant date appears only to be conceived of as a way to pressure the National Assembly, which continues its strategy of defeat and prepares to bury the movement.

Nathan Erderof

May 12, 2023


University of Michigan campus

Campus Cops Intimidate Grad Workers in Ann Arbor, Michigan

We publish here a statement by the Graduate Employees' Organization detailing and condemning the repressive tactics of the University of Michigan administration in response to the strength and resilience of striking grad workers.

Left Voice

June 1, 2023

#AllthatsLeftPod: Three Years Since the George Floyd Uprising:

In this episode of the podcast, we reflect on the 2020 George Floyd uprising, which began three years ago. We discuss how to turn the energy of a mass uprising into a sustained movement, and the kind of revolutionary leadership that's required to do so.

Left Voice

May 25, 2023

Fight Capitalism, Fight for Neurodivergent Liberation

Neurodivergent and disability liberation will have to come from the overthrow of capitalism and the building of a socialist system which values different forms of human behavior and directs resources to meeting human needs.

Sam Carliner

May 23, 2023
Prof. Gail Green-Anderson of LaGuardia Community College at a rally outside Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s Manhattan office on Thursday.

Rekindling the Militant Spirit of CUNY’s Past

Mayor Eric Adams has announced an austerity budget that includes significant cuts to the City University of New York among other city agencies. In order to defeat these cuts, students, faculty, and other workers across the city must unite our struggles and be prepared to shut the university down.

James Dennis Hoff

May 22, 2023