Security forces have arrested more than 1,300 people in Russia during protests denouncing the mobilization, Reuters reports, hours after President Vladimir Putin ordered Russia’s first military draft since World War II.
The independent protest monitoring group OVD-Info said that according to reports from 38 Russian cities, more than 1,311 people had been detained by late evening.
He says those numbers included at least 502 in Moscow and 524 in St. Petersburg.
Unauthorized gatherings are illegal under Russian anti-protest laws.
Russian Interior Ministry official Irina Volkin a statement quoted by Russian news agencies, says officers have cut short attempts to stage what he calls small protests.
“In a number of regions, there were attempts to organize unauthorized actions which brought together an extremely small number of participants,” Ms Volk was reported to have said.
“These have all been arrested. And the people who violated the laws have been arrested and taken to police stations for investigation and establishment of their responsibility.”