Women protest against mobilisation in Yakutia: police break up protest, authorities claim it was held ‘in support of mobilised men’

A women-led protest against mobilisation of men for the war in Ukraine took place in Russia’s city of Yakutsk today, 25 September, reports local media outlet SakhaDay.

“There were mostly women at the uncoordinated rally. Many came together with their families, grandmothers, and daughters. [The Yakut national dance] Osuokhay was started by a group of young women, who were then joined by older women. Women opposed mobilisation, there were pacifist slogans heard. At first, policemen urged them to turn back and go back home. Then, they decided to step aside and let the women dance the Osuokhay.

“Later, [the protesters] started chanting slogans against mobilisation, the [Yakut] song Эйэ (Peace) was performed, there were appeals to the Il Darkhan (the head of Yakutia). A short time later, the policemen started detaining people. A bus full of protesters was driven to the police station,” the media outlet reports. The policemen told the protesters that they had “broken the law and will now go [to the police station]” and that “the event was over”.

During the protest, head of Yakutia’s Public Chamber Angelica Andreeva posted a message on social media saying that the protest was helping to unite people in difficult times. “Today, there is an Osuokhay being danced in the central square of Yakutsk — mothers’ blessing so that husbands and sons come back alive! The Sakha people always unite during difficult times,” she said.

President of the Ammosov North-Eastern Federal University Evgeniya Mikhailova said that “women rallies in support of the mobilised husbands, fathers, and sons were held” all over Yakutia. “It’s very unpleasant that an event so needed by our community was ruined by provocateurs at the end,” she emphasised.

Up to 2% of male population of the military age of Yakutia could be sent to war, the data department of Novaya Gazeta. Europe calculated. During the first day of mobilisation, local bloggers reported that there were plans to recruit 4,750 people. Later, the government refuted the information, however, it did not provide another number.

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