Sep 22, 2022
Crackdown in Russia Video shows police arresting protesters Transcript
New video shows police arresting protesters in Russia after Russian President Vladimir Putin called up additional troops to fight in Ukraine. Read the transcript here.
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New this morning, more than 1300 people have been detained in cities across Russia in a crackdown on anti-war protests.
Just a sample of how Putin’s planned mobilization of some 300,000 reservists is playing out in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and beyond. CNN’s Nick Paton Walsh reports from Sloviansk in Ukraine.
Nick Paton Walsh: (00:28)
John, Brianna, really the day in which the rubber hits the road for Putin’s high stakes gamble of calling partial mobilization. I should point out, for ordinary Ukrainians, the siren you’re hearing there is just a sign that the constant bombardment often continues in frontline areas.
Nick Paton Walsh: (00:43)
But for people waking up in Moscow, they are now potentially seeing the possibility of people they know, who are not in the army, being asked to go to the front line here. And so we are seeing ticket sales, men trying to get out of Russia. We’re seeing protests, and possibly, as many as 1300 people arrested around those protests. Remember when they chant, “No to the war,” this is after six months of the war. And possibly, the fuel that put them on the streets is the fact that ordinary Russians, who so far haven’t been impacted, are going to see their lives changed. But it already seems that some people called up in this partial mobilization are going to be rushed to the front. Russia hasn’t overcome its major problem though, is how do they supply people on the frontline, equip those new recruits, and come up with an effective strategy that means these lives aren’t potentially wasted in poor decision-making on the front line.
Nick Paton Walsh: (01:32)
But Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, wasting no time during his speech in the United Nations General Assembly, to call for Russia to be stripped of its veto power at the Security Council, saying that the referendums, the diplomacy that Russia is suggesting, is all about slowing down Russia’s retreat so they can spend more time in occupied areas through the winter. The winter is certainly coming and it’s unclear as to whether this partial mobilization will affect any change on the battlefield here before that, although there has been a remarkable success by Ukraine overnight.
Nick Paton Walsh: (02:04)
While talk was on partial mobilization in Russia, and Putin’s nuclear threats, they affected a prisoner exchange with Russia where Russian prisoners of war, including one important man, Victor Medvechuck, the godfather to Putin’s child, and a key player in Ukraine politically before the war, arrested by the Ukrainians in April as a collaborator with Russia. Well, he was swapped for 200 of the defenders of the Azovstal steel plant. Ukrainian soldiers who valiantly fought in Mariupol to defend that steel plant over weeks. Remarkable pictures as they come back to Ukraine, to their families. And Ukraine celebrates those as heroes, while Russia gets back one influential individual.
Nick Paton Walsh: (02:46)
A remarkable move there by Kyiv, but still a very tense week ahead here. These four referendums coming, they’re likely to, obviously, declare that they want to become part of Russia. And that puts pace now as the key question on the battlefield. Can Ukraine change what’s happening here before winter, before Russia decides to change its battlefield tactics or use these new recruits? John, Brianna.
Well, thanks to Nick Paton Walsh in Sloviansk. You could hear the air raid sirens on behind him. We’re going to have new reporting coming up at seven o’clock, about the Russian military and their strength, as they try to bolster their forces for this invasion of Ukraine.