For months, the Kremlin has attempted to keep peace in Russia as they continue to wage an unjust war in Ukraine, citizens left in the dark on the true motives of the war — until now.
After Putin’s recorded announcement played Wednesday calling for more troop mobilization and suggesting nuclear attacks, citizens of the country erupted in chaos — opposition groups calling for protests.
By Wednesday night, flights out of the country had become sold out and roughly 1,300 people had been detained at protest for criticizing the government.
WATCH: Large protests in Russia against Putin’s attempt to call up 300,000 more soldiers for his failing invasion of Ukraine.
They’re chanting “no to war.”
— Tristan Snell (@TristanSnell) September 21, 2022
Putin calls for more troops
On Wednesday, Russian President Vladamir Putin announced the partial mobilization of military reserves in order to counter attacks by Ukraine.
Over the past month, Ukraine has made exceptional advances against Russia, applying pressure to the country as they scramble to counter offense.
According to US Intelligence, Moscow, the capital of Russia, has found itself on the defense in both the east and south.
The announcement for more troops came just a day after four-Russian controlled areas sought to stage votes to join Russia in fighting against Ukraine. Kyiv and western allies dismissed the claims as a desperate attempt to spark a counteroffensive.
In his address, Putin also threatened to use nuclear weapons if Ukraine continued to reclaim occupied areas and confirmed Russia would “annex” already occupied areas of southern and eastern Ukraine via a referendum to be organized this Friday – a strategy he successfully used before, in 2014 to annex Crimea. In this case, he will be forcing a population to vote in a war zone, under the threat of the occupying forces.
After Putin, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced 300,000 reservists would be called upon for troop mobilization.
According to Shoigu, only those with relevant combat and service experience would be mobilized, students and others are exempted.
However, those soldiers selected will be unable to terminate their contract and leave service until the partial mobilization is over, as a new clause that went into effect immediately after the Wednesday announcement.
Protests break out, Flights sell out
Following the announcement Wednesday, opposition groups gathered to protest Russia’s latest move while flights flying out of the country sold out.
By Wednesday evening, 1,311 persons had been detained across 38 cities under Russia’s anti-protest laws.
Protests had been numerous at first when the “special operation” had been launched, but recently had died down as the population had grown used to overlooking or downplaying what has happening in Ukraine.
This is the highest number of arrests for this kind of protest in a single day.
At least 502 people had been detained in Moscow and 524 people had been detained in St. Petersburg — the second most populated city in the country.
Along with the streets, airports in the country are jam-packed with citizens attempting to leave the country in fear of getting sworn in by the army or never being able to leave.
The announcement Wednesday did not clarify whether men of fighting age were allowed to leave the country nor did the Kremlin confirm if the borders would be closed to those qualified for mobilization.
Data from Aviasales, Russia’s most popular flight booking site, showed direct flights from Moscow to Istanbul in Turkey, Yerevan and Armenia — three countries that allow Russians to travel without visas, were sold out Wednesday evening.
Turkish Airline flights flying from Moscow to Istanbul were reportedly sold out until Sunday.
Airline prices had also shot up in the past few hours, with Turkey airline prices rising up to 70,000 roubles ($1,500, 1,162 euros) — tickets previously had been selling at 22,000 roubles ($368, 365 euros), just a week ago.
The declaration, which sprung chaos in the country, was only the third time Russia has called for military mobilization — the two previous times being in 1914 and 1941, the First and Second World War.
With Russian citizens seemingly afraid of the further consequences Putin’s war could have on their lives as well as Russia’s lack of victories lately, some are saying the military mobilization decision may have been the largest political wager of his career as it sparked opposition from citizens.
Of course, Putin’s initial decision to invade Ukraine in the first place was a high gamble, but now, with Russians protesting back, it seems the Kremlin’s string of lies has been cut by reality.
Already, Ukraine has taken back some 6000 square kilometers and now holds 40% of the Donbas region. How long it will take for Russia to conquer what is lost is anyone’s guess, but one thing is certain: War has finally come to Russia too and the citizens don’t like it.
Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed here by the authors are their own, not those of Impakter.com — In the Featured Photo: Russian protests against war on March 6, 2022. Source: Silar, Wikimedia.