Photo: Rare protests broke out after Putin’s mobilization | Russian-Ukrainian War News

Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered a partial mobilization of reservists to bolster his forces in Ukraine, an unpopular move that has sparked rare protests across the country and led to about 1,300 arrests.

The order is fraught with perils following setbacks to Putin’s military nearly seven months after they invaded Ukraine. The first such phone call in Russia since World War II has raised tensions with Ukraine’s Western supporters, who have derided it as an act of weakness and despair.

Despite Russia’s draconian laws against criticizing the military and war, outraged protesters overcame fear of arrest to organize demonstrations in cities around the country.

According to the independent Russian human rights group OVD-Info, hundreds of people have been arrested during anti-war protests in cities including Moscow and St Petersburg.

In Yekaterinburg, Russia’s fourth largest city, police dragged about 40 protesters onto buses.

The Moscow prosecutor’s office warned that organizing or participating in protests could lead to 15 years in prison.

Total number of callers who booked can be as high as 300,000, said Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu. However, Putin’s decree allowing a partial draft, effective immediately, gave some details, raising doubts that the draft could be extended at any time.

Shoigu said only a handful of people with relevant combat and service experience will be called up. He said about 25 million people fit that criteria, but only about 1% of them will be required to serve.

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