Hundreds of people in the republic of Dagestan protested against President Vladimir Putin’s “partial” mobilization for the war in Ukraine for the second day in a row, local media reported on Monday.
Police officers detained around 20 protesters in the North Caucasus region’s capital of Makhachkala after a mass brawl between protesters and police, according to the Kavkaz.Realii news website.
The latest detentions come after Russian police arrested more than 100 people at a mass protest in Makhachkala on Sunday, according to OVD-Info, an independent police monitoring group.
“Obviously, the protests in Makhachkala were prepared and controlled from abroad,” regional leader Sergei Melikov claimed Monday without giving evidence.
“We already saw this in the 90s. Unfortunately, many have forgotten what this could lead to, not everyone remembers the explosions of residential buildings in Kaspiysk and Buynaksk, at railway stations and subways,” Melikov said in a Telegram post, referring to terror attacks in the region in 1990s.
In a bid to calm residents, Dagestan's military commissioner Daitbeg Mustafayev said this weekend that only men "with special military skills”' would be called up in the first round of the draft and that no conscripts would be sent to Ukraine.
Dagestan — a poor, Muslim-majority republic in the North Caucasus — has seen more men killed in the Kremlin's military offensive in Ukraine than any other part of Russia, according to a tally made by independent Russian media of death notices published online.
Kremlin critics say Moscow focuses its military call-up drives on Russia's poorest, most remote regions.
AFP contributed reporting.