Several videos posted on social media, geolocated by CNN in the Muslim-majority region of Dagestan, show women in the capital, Makhachkala, begging the police outside the theater.
They can be heard saying in the video, “Why are you taking our children? Who attacked whom? It was Russia that attacked Ukraine.” Then groups of women begin chanting “No to war,” while the police officer walks away.
In other confrontations in the city, police can be seen resisting protesters, with people being violently arrested by police while others flee on foot.
Independent Russian monitoring group OVD-Info has reported several arrests, including the arrest of a local journalist who was covering today’s protests.
Makhachkala Mayor Salman Dadaev called for calm on Sunday, urging people not to “success to the provocations of people engaged in anti-state activities”.
“I urge you not to commit illegal acts, each of which will be evaluated by law enforcement agencies in terms of legal consequences,” Dadaev was quoted by the RIA Novosti news agency as saying.
In another video, filmed in the town of Inderi in Dagestan, a police officer is seen firing his rifle in the air in an apparent attempt to disperse a crowd of protesters.
“Since the start of the mobilization, we’ve actually seen a much bigger push to get people from those republics (ethnic minority) to war,” said Anton Barbashin, managing editor of Riedel Russia, an online magazine on Russian affairs.
“The mobilization there seems to be a much bigger mess – people are being snatched from universities,” he told CNN. “It’s really starting to make people question politics, like in Dagestan.”
In Russia-occupied Crimea, a mobilization order prompted Tatars – members of an indigenous ethnic group – to flee, said a representative of the Ukrainian presidency in Crimea.
“In the occupied territory of Crimea, Russia is focusing on the Crimean Tatars during the mobilization process,” MP Tamila Tasheva said on Verkhovna Rada TV on Sunday. “Currently, thousands of Crimean Tatars, including their families, leave Crimea through the territory of Russia mostly for Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan.”
Former Mongolian President Elbergdorj Tsakhya also urged Putin to end the war on Friday, saying that Mongol citizens of Russia are being forced to fight.
“I know that since the beginning of this bloody war, the ethnic minorities living in Russia have suffered the most. The Buryat Mongol, Tuva Mongol and Kalmyk Mongol have suffered a lot,” he said. “It has been used as cannon fodder.”
Anti-mobilization protests have spread across the country, with more than 2,350 people arrested since the announcement, according to OVD-Info.
At a protest in the far eastern city of Yakutsk on Sunday, a crowd of women chanted, “Reply our ancestors!” Some residents of the Sakha Republic, where Yakutsk is the capital, were mistakenly recruited despite being unfit to mobilize, indicating the chaotic implementation of Putin’s order.
Four of the five European Union countries bordering Russia have banned entry for Russians on tourist visas, while queues to cross land borders from Russia into former Soviet states Kazakhstan, Georgia and Armenia used to take more than 24 hours to cross.
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