Russian President Vladimir Putin declared a partial military mobilization in Russia on Wednesday, placing the country's people and economy on a war footing as Moscow pursues its invasion of Ukraine.
In a rare, pre-recorded broadcast statement, Putin said the West "wants to destroy our country" and attempted to "convert Ukraine's people into cannon fodder," according to Reuters, reiterating previous statements in which he accused Western countries of initiating a proxy war with Russia.
Putin stated that "mobilization events" would begin on Wednesday without providing further details, other than that he had ordered an increase in funding to boost Russia's weapons production, even though Russia had committed (and lost) a large amount of weaponry during the conflict, which began in late February.
A partial mobilization is an ill-defined phrase, but it might imply that Russian enterprises and residents must pay more to the war effort. Despite having invaded Ukraine in February, Russia has failed to declare war, calling its invasion a "special military operation."
Putin stated that military reservists would be called up for active duty but emphasized that there would be no general conscription of Russian males of fighting age.
"I stress that we are discussing partial mobilization, which means that only people who are presently on reserve would be liable to conscription, and those who have served in the armed services have a certain military specialization and necessary expertise." Conscripts will be required to undergo further military training based on their experience with the special military operation before being assigned to units, according to an Associated Press translation.
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu provided more details on the partial mobilization Wednesday morning, stating 300,000 extra people will be called up to participate in the military campaign in Ukraine.
In what was quickly seen as an escalatory talk, Putin also accused the West of nuclear blackmailing Russia and warned that the nation possessed "plenty of weapons to respond" to what he called Western threats, stressing that he was not kidding.
Putin has made many references to Russia's nuclear arsenal throughout the confrontation with Ukraine, but experts are skeptical that Moscow will use such a weapon, which would be comparable to beginning a third global war.
More than 1,300 people have been detained in Russia after Putin's partial military mobilization. Protests are sparked
More than 1,300 people were arrested in Russia during rare anti-war rallies throughout the nation in response to President Vladimir Putin's declaration of partial military mobilization.
According to OVD-Info, the protests took place in 38 places on September 21, after Putin's declaration the same day.
The great majority of detentions occurred in Russia's two biggest cities, with at least 530 registered in Moscow and over 470 recorded in St. Petersburg. Others were arrested in major cities, including Chelyabinsk, Yekaterinburg, Krasnoyarsk, Ufa, Krasnodar, and Irkutsk.
Many women took part in the Moscow rally, chanting "Life to our children!" and "No to war!" Several hundred individuals, according to social media videos, took part in the Moscow demonstration, where participants created a chain by clasping their hands. Protesters were taken out of the chain one by one by police.
Participants put up posters with the Ukrainian flag's blue and yellow colors and screamed "No to mobilization!" and "Russia without Putin."
Authorities warned protesters that they could face up to 15 years in jail if they took part in the protests.