Russian citizens have taken to the streets of Moscow, St. Petersburg, and elsewhere to protest Vladimir Putin’s conscription order for the war in Ukraine.
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced Wednesday the partial mobilization of his country’s military reserves in a move that follows Ukrainian gains in a counteroffensive in northeastern Ukraine. Putin said in a televised address that the mobilization is necessary to protect Russia’s homeland and sovereignty.
Throughout Russia, people balked at the order.
Scores of Russian men seemingly bought all the available seats on flights out of the country on Wednesday. Others took to the streets in protest.
A crowd gathered Wednesday on Arbat, Moscow’s main pedestrian street, shouting: “Send Putin to the trenches!”
One 27-year old Moscow resident, “Mikhail,” agreed with that sentiment as he prepared to board a flight out of Moscow.
“Let Putin go fight,” said “Mikhail,” who spoke to Soldier of Fortune via a secure messaging system. “He is so passionate about this, let him go to the front lines.”