Mass arrests and draft resistance follows Putin’s mobilisation order

Woman holds an antiwar sign in Russia
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Mass arrests and protests have followed Russian president Vladimir Putin’s threats to use nuclear weapons and his order to mobilise military reserves. The resistance comes after Putin gave a fiery speech pledging that any incursion into Russian territory would be met with massive force.

Referendums in contested Russia-held territory have also been promised. The suggestion seems to be that those territories would be included under the new nuclear umbrella.

The new orders follow major Ukrainian advances into areas occupied by Russia since the invasion.

Nuclear threats

In a major speech on Wednesday 21 September, Putin condemned the west for supplying arms to Ukraine and said of alleged western nuclear threat against Russia:

I would like to remind those who make such statements regarding Russia that our country has different types of weapons as well, and some of them are more modern than the weapons NATO countries have.

He added:

In the event of a threat to the territorial integrity of our country and to defend Russia and our people, we will certainly make use of all weapon systems available to us. This is not a bluff.

Read on...

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Putin’s decree that reserves be mobilised included an order that reservists would be paid the same as regular troops and enjoy the same conditions.

The period of mobilisation was not specified and the precise numbers were not stated. The decree did also mention exemptions for age and illness.

There were reports that within hours flights out of Russia and some other countries liable for reserve service were sold out within minutes, with prices skyrocketing:

Mass arrests

Also within hours of the decree, arrests were being reported across Russia with 100 each in Moscow and St Petersburg. This appears to be a response to dissent and organising against the war, and against mobilisation:

Some reports suggest that arrests at anti-war demonstrations across Russia were as high as 1700. And there are claims that some were badly injured by police as they were taken into custody:


Planned referendums in contested and occupied regions are set to go ahead. The thinking seems to be that the votes, derided as illegitimate by the Ukrainian foreign minister on Tuesday, will allow Putin’s Russia to integrate the areas into Russian territory.

The rationale, according to pro-Ukrainian figures like former BBC correspondent John Simpson, is that these territories will then form a red line in terms of Putin’s nuclear threat:


It is tempting to look at Putin’s decrees as evidence of a regime in crisis and this may well be accurate. But once again the Ukrainian war makes the global risks apparent. Driving the Russian regime to the point of pressing reserves into service, and making threats of this kind, is nothing to crow about.

Rather, it highlights the risk of enduring nuclear capability. There’s also the need for a settlement through dialogue and the kind of serious program of global disarmament which the end of the Cold War failed to deliver.

Featured image via Wikimedia Commons/Silar, cropped to 770 x 403px, licenced under CC BY-SA 4.0.

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  • Show Comments
    1. Putin really encourages dialogue doesn’t he? Look at his dialogue with anti war protestors in Russia.
      How much dialogue on websites like the Canary do you think there is in Russia? Enjoy your western freedoms with your pseudo neutral stance. Maybe you should spend some time in wonderful Moscow.

      1. What an odd and uninformed comment. The article to which it is responding is hardly supportive of the draft in Russia. It is likely to be no more popular in Russia than it was in the USA during its mass murder of the Vietnamese, Laotian and Cambodian peoples in the 1960s and 70s. There has been little on The Canary in support of Putin’s invasion, just a wish to report it as the proxy war it is.

    2. Draft Resistence and Protest is only natural in a situation like this, arrests is only natural in a Thatcher/Reagan flavour of Globalist Neoliberal One Party State such as Russia or indeed UK/USA/”The WEST”
      I wonder where the Neo-Labour Party TORIES would sit on this one considdering that they wanted to prosecute Climate Activists!
      What would Britain look like if government called up drafts today, under either TORY Party, for basic training to go to war in Ukraine, I dare say not much different!

      1. I dare say many detest BlueKeef and his Starmerstruppen even more. Why not, compare Putin to BlueKeef & Truss, he is no different, he is a Conservative Party MP and the President of a Federation State same as Biden, Trudeau, Macron, et al.
        You don’t honnestly think that any of those people are anything other than Thatcher/Reagan’s flavour of Globalist Neoliberal One Party State Conservative Party Leaders do you!?
        Why is Putin the bad guy, if it was BoJoke who flew over to Nazi Ukraine to talk Vladimir Zelenski out of the peace deal with Ukraine/Russia, followed by the NATO Chihuahuas yapping at the fence, flexing mussle, it’s long lost? Then promptly bugger off!? Followed by $Billions of weapons that mostly vanished down a Nazi Black Hole!
        There are 3 keywords that puts the Russian Special Operation in perspective and back in the Ukrainian court.
        1. Russian Speaking Ukrainians.
        2. Nazis.
        3. Minsk Agreement.
        Believe who or what you like but facts are facts, I strongly suggest revisiting the Bucha mass grave, now most of those “shock photos” have dissapeared, but if you find the Western Media images of the mass grave, the one Zelenski visited the one with the Tipper-Truck in the background and arms, feet and body bags sticking out of the ground, bodies tipped in on top of a pile of bodies, from a tipper-truck like rubbish at the tip! Just about everysingle one of them with a white armband, then ask yourself if Putin invaded Britain and massacred 100s of our friends and neighbors would that be how we burried them!?
        There are other so called mass graves where the bodies were, as one would expect, in a pine coffin and laid to rest side by side, also done in very poor 3rd World African countries! Especially considdering Bucha is where the main city cemetery is, a University Town, near 30 undertakers and as many Forensic Laboratories, and yet, that was what they got, chucked on a pile like trash, without id, without forensics, even if Russians were guilty of Bucha, they nor Putin did that to those bodies.
        Soon hopefully the Nazis will be removed and peace will return, then I hope those people will be ID’d and have a forensic examination and cause of death, at least the truth is concealed in those body bags! May they RIP!

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