Dagestan: Protests erupt in Russian region over Putin’s mobilization orders

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CNN

Violent protests have erupted in some regions of ethnic minorities in Russia against Vladimir Putin’s mobilization order, with activist groups and Ukrainian officials saying these minorities have been disproportionately targeted for conscription in the war.

Several videos posted to social media and located by CNN in the predominantly Muslim region of Dagestan show women in the capital Makhachkala pleading with police at a theater.

‘Why are you taking our children? Who attacked whom? It is Russia that attacked Ukraine,” the video said. Groups of women then begin to sing “No War” as the police officer walks away.

Other clashes in the city have seen police withdrawing from the protesters, with people forcibly detained by the police while others flee on foot.

The independent Russian monitoring group OVD-Info reported that several arrests had been made, including that of a local journalist covering the day’s protests.

Makhachkala mayor Salman Dadayev called for calm on Sunday and urged people “not to give in to the provocations of persons involved in anti-state activities”.

“I urge you not to commit any illegal acts, each of which will be assessed by law enforcement agencies for legal consequences,” Dadayev said, according to Russia’s state news agency RIA Novosti.

Another video, filmed in the Dagestan town of Endirei, shows a police officer firing his rifle into the air in an apparent attempt to disperse a crowd of protesters.

The protests come after Putin said last Wednesday that 300,000 reservists would be called up under an immediate “partial mobilization” in an effort to bolster his faltering invasion of Ukraine.

While Russian authorities have said it would only affect Russians with previous military experience, the decree itself gives much broader terms, raising fears about a broader draft in the future — and the impact on ethnic minorities.

“Since the mobilization started, we have seen much greater pressure to go to war with people from those (ethnic minority) republics,” said Anton Barbashin, editor-in-chief of Riddle Russia, an online magazine on Russian affairs.

“Mobilization seems to be much more disorderly there — people are being snatched away from universities,” CNN told CNN. “It’s already starting to make people doubt the policy, like in Dagestan.”

Watch Russian men drive off in buses to fight in Putin’s war

In Russian-occupied Crimea, the mobilization order has prompted Tatar men — members of an indigenous ethnic group — to flee, Ukraine’s presidential representative in Crimea said.

“On the territory of occupied Crimea, Russia is targeting Crimean Tatars during its mobilization,” Representative Tamila Tasheva told Ukrainian parliament television on Sunday. “Currently, thousands of Crimean Tatars, including their families, are leaving Crimea through the territory of Russia, mainly to Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan.”

Former Mongolian President Elbergdorj Tsakhia on Friday urged Putin to end the war as Mongolian civilians in Russia were forced to fight.

“I know that since the beginning of this bloody war, the ethnic minorities living in Russia have suffered the most. The Buryat Mongols, Tuva Mongols and Kalmyk Mongols have suffered a lot,” he said. “They have been used as nothing more than cannon fodder.”

Anti-mobilization protests have spread across the country, with more than 2,350 people arrested since the announcement, according to OVD-Info.

At a protest in the far eastern city of Yakutsk on Sunday, a crowd of women chanted, “Give back our grandfathers!” Some residents of the Sakha Republic, where Yakutsk is the capital, were “accidentally” summoned, although they were not eligible for mobilization, illustrating the chaotic execution of Putin’s order.

And Crimea isn’t the only place facing an exodus; Military-age men across Russia are choosing to flee rather than risk enlisting. Video footage shows long lines of traffic at land border crossings to several neighboring countries, and soaring airline tickets and sold-out flights in recent days.

Four of the five EU countries bordering Russia have banned Russians on tourist visas, while queues to cross land borders from Russia to the former Soviet countries of Kazakhstan, Georgia and Armenia reportedly took more than 24 hours. .

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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