Protests continued to intensify in Russia over the weekend, following Russian President Putin's announcement to mobilise hundreds of thousands of recruits to staunch the heavy losses his military has suffered in Ukraine.
At least 2,000 people have been arrested in recent days for similar demonstrations around Russia. Many of those taken away have immediately received a call-up summons.
Unconfirmed Russian media reports that the Kremlin might soon close Russian borders to men of fighting age are fueling panic and prompting more to flee.
In Dagestan, one of Russia’s poorer regions in the North Caucasus, police fired warning shots to try to disperse more than 100 people who blocked a highway while protesting Russian President Vladimir Putin’s military call-up, Russian media reported.
Dozens of women chanted “No to war!” in the Dagestani capital of Makhachkala on Sunday. Videos of the protests showed women in head scarves chasing police away from the rally and standing in front of police cars carrying detained protesters, demanding their release.
OVD-Info, an independent Russian human rights monitor, said over 100 people were arrested during protests in the regional capital Makhachkala. They also said that locals in the village of Endirey had blocked a federal highway, in an attempt to stop security officials seeking to enforce the draft entering the area.
Footage obtained by the group showed police officers firing automatic rifles in the air as they sought to break up the demonstration, but locals continued to block the road.
In an attempt to ease the outbreak of anger, Dagestan's Governor Sergei Melikov admitted on Sunday that "mistakes have been made" during mobilisation.
"I have already spoken about this before, but I will repeat it again: partial mobilization must take place strictly according to the criteria announced by the president," Melikov wrote on Telegram.
Women also protested in the Siberian city of Yakutsk, chanting “No to genocide!” and marching in a circle around police, who later dragged some away or forced them into police vans, according to videos shared by Russian media.
Meanwhile, The Guardian reported that a Russian man who had been called for military service opened fire at a local military commandant in the remote Siberian town of Ust-Ilimsk, in the Irkutsk region in Siberia.
Dramatic footage of the incident was shared on various Telegram channels, which showed the man, dressed in military-style fatigues, opening fire a nearly point blank range at the recruiting officer, with at least three shots fired.
It was not immediately clear if the officer who had been shot survived -- reports were conflicting regarding his fate, and video showed him being carried away, presumably still alive, on a stretcher into a waiting ambulance.
“Nobody is going to go anywhere,” the assailant said moments before opening fire, an eyewitness told the local Baikal People news outlet.
(To receive our E-paper on WhatsApp daily, please click here. To receive it on Telegram, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)