Hundreds of people were arrested Saturday during demonstrations in Russia against the nation’s “partial mobilization” of troops that the Kremlin plans to throw into its invasion of Ukraine. Some who had participated in demonstrations earlier in the week had been given military summonses, state media reported.
The Kremlin’s staged referendums in Ukraine — which some residents called a vote “under a gun barrel” — were underway for a second day and were scheduled to continue until Tuesday in regions controlled by Russian forces. Western leaders have condemned the orchestrated referendums as a pretext to annex swaths of the country.
Here’s the latest on the war and its ripple effects across the globe.
Propaganda newspapers show how Russia promoted annexation in Kharkiv: Over the months Russian troops occupied Izyum in Ukraine’s northeast, puppet authorities regularly distributed propaganda newspapers to residents, pushing a narrative of normalcy and unity even as homes and infrastructure were demolished, stores were looted, and civilians struggled to find basic provisions to survive.
A trove of the Russian-language newspapers, provided to The Washington Post by a resident who said he kept them “for history,” paints a surreal version of events on the ground running in near total contradiction to the narrative both from the Ukrainian government in Kyiv and accounts from residents who survived the violent takeover of the city in March.
Ukrainian forces recaptured Izyum in a surprise counteroffensive earlier this month, Siobhán O’Grady and Sergii Mukaieliants report, sparing the city from a staged referendum in an attempt to justify Russian annexation like those that began Friday in parts of Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions.
The propaganda newspapers show how Russian forces tried to take advantage of the city’s information vacuum during the occupation when cellphone and internet service was mostly cut. The papers sought to evoke nostalgia among civilians for the Soviet era, to turn residents against Ukrainian forces and to promote deep historical and cultural ties with Russia, apparently in preparation for annexation.
Mary Ilyushina contributed to this report.