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Putin’s military call-up sparks protests in Russia

Posted September. 23, 2022 07:50,   

Updated September. 23, 2022 07:50


Russian President Vladimir Putin’s order to partially mobilize reservists brought the country into chaos. Protesters across the nation took to the street to show their disapproval; some even tried to avoid the call-up by harming themselves. People in Russia rushed for the exits leading to an exodus with all outbound flight tickets being sold out and airfares skyrocketing.

According to media outlets, including Reuters and BBC, President Putin’s military call-up on Wednesday spurred protests across 38 regions in Russia, including key cities such as Moscow and Saint Petersburg. The protesters chanted, “Send Putin to the trenches!” and “Anti-War.” At least 1,311 people were arrested. This is the first massive protest since Russia invaded Ukraine in February. The Russian anti-war movement “Vesna” urged people to join in the protest, saying, “The mobilization order means that thousands of Russian men – our fathers, brothers, and husbands – will be thrown into the meat grinder of war.”

As the number of citizens trying to get out of the country soared, flight tickets soon ran out. A few hours after Putin ordered a partial mobilization, air tickets to the neighboring visa-free countries, such as Turkey, Istanbul, and Armenia, were sold out.

The Russian authorities, on one hand, suspended the sales of flight tickets for men aged between 18 and 65, and, on the other hand, they tried to appease the public by promising to postpone loan payments for the mobilized. The Russian stock index fell to the lowest since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine for a while.

Sung-Hwi Kang yolo@donga.com