According to local media, government offices were set on fire with Molotov cocktails in several regions of Russia following Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to partially mobilize Russian reserve troops to fight in Ukraine.
In Tolyatti, a town on the Volga River in western Russia, local media said an individual threw a Molotov cocktail at the main door of a government administration building on Belorusskaya Street.
At around 3:44 a.m. local time on Thursday, the building’s door and part of its ceiling caught fire, Russian-language independent media outlet MediaZona reported. The area of the fire was 10 square meters and it was extinguished in 20 minutes.
Baza, a news site closely linked to Russian police, claimed that staff found used Molotov cocktails at the scene.
Employees of the office building told Russian local news site Neslukhi.rf that the porch had been damaged. A photo shared by the publication shows broken windows. It is not known who was behind the attack.
Elsewhere, in the town of Lomonosov, which is part of St. Petersburg, a district military registration and enlistment office was set on fire last night. A photo showing the damage was posted on social media.
In the town of Gai in Russia’s Orenburg region, another military registration and enlistment office was also set on fire on Wednesday evening, damaging a wall, according to local media.
Meanwhile, in Nizhny Novgorod, western Russia, a fire broke out last night at another military registration and enlistment office. The blaze was extinguished before firefighters arrived and no injuries were reported, according to local media.
Baza reported that a Molotov cocktail was also thrown through the office window.
Since the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24, there have been more than a dozen attempts to burn down military enlistment offices across Russia, including in areas of Ivanovo, Moscow, Nizhnevartovsk, Ryazan, Sverdlovsk and Voronezh.
The latest incidents come after Putin announced a partial mobilization of the armed forces. Defense officials said up to 300,000 reservists would be called up to fight.
Demonstrations erupted across the country against the war and Putin’s partial mobilization decree, with protesters holding banners saying “No to war” and “No mobilization”. At least 1,386 people were arrested in 38 cities across Russia during the protests, the human rights project OVD-Info reported.
In Novosibirsk, a resident who took part in a rally was reportedly detained in Lenin Square.
Footage posted on Telegram showed the man shouting at the police: “I’m not going to die for Putin and for you! You yourself know that everything sucks.” Other protesters cheered the man.
Earlier, Ivan Zhdanov, an ally of imprisoned Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny called on Russians to protest Putin’s decision to deploy a partial mobilization.
“If you are ready to do big things, including burning down the military registration and enlistment office, we support that and are also ready to provide help,” Zhdanov said Wednesday, according to the channel. independent information based in Latvia Meduza.
Newsweek contacted the Russian Foreign Ministry for comment.