The Buzz

Russia warns protests against reservists’ draft won’t be tolerated

The Moscow Prosecutor’s Office has said that participation in protests and unsanctioned “mass events” is a punishable offense which can result “imprisonment for up to 15 years,” BBC reported.

It shared the message on Telegram as an apparent warning to people considering taking to the streets this evening to protest the Russian government’s decision to draft reservists to fight in Ukraine, announced yesterday.

Meanwhile, various Telegram channels are reporting that protests against mobiliation are kicking off in the Far East of Russia. Ten people are thought to have already been detained in Irkutsk.

Russia has cracked down on protests in recent months. Independent human rights media project OVD-info estimates that 16,437 people have been detained since the start of the war in Ukraine on 24 February.

The Russian government says it will announce “very soon” who will be exempt from its partial mobilisation.

Speaking to reporters, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the government would shortly decide which citizens would be allowed to defer a call-up.

According to BBC, Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu earlier said only soldiers with military experience will be called up.

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