There was chaos in Russia after President Vladimir Putin ordered a partial mobilisation of reserve forces to reinforce his troops in Ukraine.
Over 1,300 were arrested across the country during the protests as many Russians tried to buy plane tickets to flee the country. Flights out of Russia were nearly fully booked this week.
Putin's order of calling up 3,00,000 military reservists has come after Russian troops suffered huge setbacks in southern and eastern parts of Ukraine.
This is the first such incident since the 2nd World War when Russia has called up its reserve forces.
Chaos in Russia: More than 1,300 people were arrested in 38 different cities, according to the OVD-Info monitoring group. Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny had asked Russians to come out and protest.
Шествие в Москве против войны. Храбрые, лучшие! ❤️ pic.twitter.com/njAHbSAiOp— Соболь Любовь (@SobolLubov) September 21, 2022
Large numbers of Russians rushed to book one-way tickets out of the country after Putin's announcement. Flights were almost filled and the prices of tickets for remaining connections have skyrocketed.
The price for flights from Moscow to Istanbul or Dubai increased within minutes before jumping again, reaching as high as 9,200 euros ($9,119) for a one-way economy class fare, reported AP.
Flights departing Moscow and St. Petersburg today. The @AP is reporting international flights departing Russia have either sold out or skyrocketed in price after Putin announced a mobilization of reservists.— Flightradar24 (@flightradar24) September 21, 2022
Search SVO, VKO, DME for Moscow airports and LED for St. Petersburg. pic.twitter.com/LV2PrkwPD9
Nuclear threat: In his 14-minute long televised address, Putin warned the West that he isn't bluffing about using everything at his disposal to protect Russia. Putin said that officials in NATO states had threatened to use nuclear weapons against Russia, but should know that "the weathervane can turn towards them", reported Reuters.
"We also have various means of destruction. When the territorial integrity of Russia is threatened, we will certainly use all the means at our disposal to protect our country and our people. It's not a bluff," Putin said.
#UPDATE President Vladimir Putin called up Russian military reservists on Wednesday, saying his promise to use all military means in Ukraine was "no bluff" and hinting that Moscow was prepared to use nuclear weapons ▶️ https://t.co/CeHn71a2pA pic.twitter.com/eFu3DiAJ72— AFP News Agency (@AFP) September 21, 2022
4 Ukrainian regions to vote to join Russia: Four Russian-controlled regions of eastern and southern Ukraine have announced plans to start voting this week to become integral parts of Russia. Putin said Russia would assist with the referendums.
The scheduling of referendums starting on Friday in the Luhansk, Kherson and partly Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhia and Donetsk regions came after a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin said the votes are needed and as Moscow is losing ground, reported AP.
Biden warns Putin: US President Joe Biden at the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday said that new nuclear threats by Putin against Europe showed reckless disregard to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.
Biden said reports of Russian abuses against civilians should make your blood run cold.
Zelensky demands 'just punishment': Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelensky told the UN General Assembly that Ukraine wants peace and justice. He said Ukraine wanted "just punishment" for a crime Russia had committed against his nation.
Zelensky said his five non-negotiable conditions for peace included punishment for Russian aggression, restoration of Ukraine's security, and territorial integrity and security guarantees, reported AFP.
Ukraine's fightback: Ukraine has liberated over 60,000 square km of territory since the Russians began retreating from around Kyiv in early April, reported US think tank Institute for the Study of War.
After suffering huge losses and destruction, Ukraine is on the counter-offensive and has won some major ground. Ukraine has reclaimed over 6,000 sq km from Russia in counter-offensive and has captured many POWs in the last few weeks.
Death toll in Ukraine war: The United Nations said that a total of 5,827 civilians have died during Russia's invasion of Ukraine as of September 11, 2022. Of them, 375 were children. 8,421 people have been injured so far.
Ukraine's military chief has said nearly 9,000 soldiers have died in the war and US intelligence estimates that some 15,000 Russian soldiers have been killed so far in Ukraine.