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Warning shots at Russian anti-mobilization protest

September 25, 2022

In the southern Russian region of Dagestan, police have clashed with people who were protesting against Russia's partial mobilization.

Makhachkala, Dagestan: People gather by a recruitment center. September 22, 2022.
People gathered by a recruitment center in Makhachkala, the regional capital of DagestanImage: Stringer/TASS/dpa/picture alliance

Police in the southern Russian region of Dagestan fired warning shots on Sunday to disperse people protesting the partial mobilization of army reservists to be sent to the war in Ukraine.

According to local media reports, the protest flared up in response to the call-up of 110 men from the village of Endirey, with a population of 8,000, to fight in Ukraine. Residents of the village had also blocked a road to prevent authorities from entering.

Videos show security forces shooting into the air and scuffles between local residents and the police.

'No to war' in Makhachkala

Dozens of videos posted to social media also showed confrontations with police in the regional capital, Makhachkala, as protesters chanted "no to the war."

One video showed a group of women chasing away a police officer, while several clips showed violent clashes, including police sitting on protesters, as police attempted to make arrests.

Dagestan, a Muslim-majority region located on the shores of the Caspian Sea in the mountainous north Caucasus, is one of the Russian regions from which the most men are currently being conscripted.

Men flee conscription in Russia

Targeting minorities

Activists have complained that members of minorities are being particularly targeted during Russia's mobilization campaign .

Research from the BBC's Russian service identified at least 301 soldiers from Dagestan who had died in the war — more than in any other Russian region and more than 10 times as many as had hailed from Moscow, which has a population five times higher.

Russia has not provided any regional breakdowns on its military casualties.

The Russian Defense Ministry said on Wednesday that nearly 6,000 Russian soldiers have been killed since February 24. The Ukrainian military has reported 56,700 Russian casualties.

dh/msh (dpa, Reuters)