Russians stand up to Putin over Ukraine mobilization: World in Photos

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World in Photos: Russians stand up to Putin over Ukraine mobilization – ‘Stop the war!’

It’s been less than a week since Vladimir Putin made his bombshell announcement of a “partial mobilization” of Russians to enlist for the fight in Ukraine. But these five days have already sparked more unrest than Russia saw in the seven months prior, since the Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine.

Today’s photos capture some of the fury — from Moscow to St. Petersburg to the southwestern city of Voronezh. There have also been protests in farther-flung regions of Russia — in Dagestan in particular, where more than 100 people were arrested in the regional capital Makhachkala, according to the monitor group OVD-Info, and where some people have charged the Kremlin with singling out ethnic minorities.

Dagestan is a largely Muslim region that has already seen a higher rate of casualties in Ukraine than any other. In one village Sunday, women protested against the call-up. “Why are you taking our children?” one of the women shouted. “Who was attacked? Russia was attacked? They didn’t come to us. It was us attacking Ukraine. Russia has attacked Ukraine! Stop the war!” If that seemed an astonishing statement, in a nation where protests have been few and brief since the war began, so perhaps was the swift response from Dagestan’s governor, Sergei Melikov. “Mistakes have been made,” Melikov acknowledged, in the implementation of Putin’s mobilization order.

Meanwhile, in the city of Ust-Ilimsk on Monday, in Russia’s Far East, a man who was furious over the mobilization shot the local recruitment officer.

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Also here: photographs from Russia’s borders with Finland and Georgia – where some people have decided the best form of protest is to leave. Or at least try to leave. Russia’s border with Georgia has seen 18-mile-long queues of cars; and authorities in Finland said they planned to slow or shut down entry for Russians as lines there grew longer.

As Grid reported last week, Putin’s mobilization plan stunned many Russians who had absorbed a Kremlin narrative that the “special military operation” was going well, and that life could proceed in a normal fashion. The message: The nation was not at war. In an interview with Grid on Monday, Vera Krichevskaya, a co-founder of the independent Russian media company TV Rain, which was shut down earlier this year, said of the mobilization and Putin’s new message: “For many Russians, September 21 was the day on which they really learned what had happened on February 24.”

Police officers detain protesters in front of the Kremlin during a rally against the military invasion on Ukraine and partial mobilization in Moscow, Russia.
A woman struggles with two police officers as they detain her during protests in Moscow.
A police officer with the letter 'Z' on his helmet, the tactical insignia of Russian troops in Ukraine, blocks the street in Saint Petersburg as protesters try to go by.
A man struggles as a police officer holds him down on the ground during a protest in Saint Petersburg.
Four police officers detain a struggling man during a protest in Moscow.
Many protesters hold hands as they face a large group of police officers during a demonstration in Saint Petersburg.
Protesters gather at night by the Lenin Monument in the city of Voronezh.
Police officers and their vehicles block a street in Saint Petersburg.
People carrying luggage walk past vehicles with Russian license plates on the Russian side of the border towards the customs checkpoint between Georgia and Russia.
A long line of vehicles queue to cross the border from Russia to Finland.
A Mongolian border guard checks vehicles arriving from Russia at the Mongolian border.
Police actively push resisting protesters onto a bus in the Russian city of Voronezh.
A group of people line up with their bags as they arrive from Russia at the Mongolian border checkpoint in the city of Altanbulag.
Protesters hold onto each other as police officers attempt to detain them in the streets of Saint Petersburg.
A girl holds a sign that reads "No burialization" in front of a crowd of marching protesters in Moscow.
  • Tom Nagorski
    Tom Nagorski

    Global Editor

    Tom Nagorski is the global editor at Grid, where he oversees our coverage of global security, U.S.-China relations, migration trends, global economics and U.S. foreign policy.

  • Jake Garcia
    Jake Garcia

    Associate Producer, Multimedia

    Jake Garcia is a documentary filmmaker and multimedia producer for Grid.

  • Mariana Labbate
    Mariana Labbate

    Global Editorial Assistant

    Mariana Labbate is the editorial assistant for Grid's Global team.