LONDON: Security forces arrested more than 1,300 people in Russia on Wednesday during protests denouncing the mobilization, a rights group said, hours after President Vladimir Putin ordered the first Russian military call since the Second World War.
The independent protest monitoring group OVD-Info said that according to information it had collected from 38 Russian cities, more than 1,311 people had been detained by late evening.
He said those numbers included at least 502 in Moscow and 524 in St. Petersburg, Russia’s second most populous city.
Unauthorized gatherings are illegal under Russian anti-protest laws.
Russian Interior Ministry official Irina Volk, in a statement quoted by Russian news agencies, said officers had halted attempts to stage what he called small protests.
“In a number of regions, there were attempts to organize unauthorized actions that brought together an extremely small number of participants,” Volk said.
“These have all been arrested. And the people who violated the laws have been arrested and taken to police stations for investigation and establishing their responsibility.”
One-way flights from Russia were soaring and selling out quickly on Wednesday after Cheese fries ordered the immediate recall of 300,000 reservists.

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