Hundreds of people have been arrested by authorities as protests against Russia’s new “partial mobilisation” continue across the country, an independent rights group has said.

OVD-Info said 724 people were detained across 32 different cities yesterday.

Widespread demonstrations have broken out since President Vladimir Putin announced plans to draft 300,000 men to fight in Ukraine.

 Mr Putin’s move to draft civilians into the military has sparked large scale protests in urban areas, with more than 1,000 people being detained at demonstrations earlier this week.

Moscow has also approved harsh new punishments for those accused of dereliction of duty once drafted.

Mr Putin signed fresh decrees yesterday imposing punishments of up to 10 years imprisonment for any soldier caught surrendering, attempting to desert the military or refusing to fight.

The president also signed orders granting Russian citizenship to any foreign national who signs up to serve a year in the country’s military.

Credit: BBC

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