Thousands of people have taken to the streets in Russia to hold demonstrations against the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Several videos and images from these protests have gone viral on social media. The videos show police officers dragging away the protesters.

The latest demonstrations came after Putin, in a televised address on Wednesday, announced a "partial mobilization" of citizens to annex swaths of Ukrainian territory. He even threatened to use nuclear weapons.

"We are talking about partial mobilisation, that is, only citizens who are currently in the reserve will be subject to conscription, and above all, those who served in the armed forces have a certain military specialty and relevant experience," he said.

According to Russian defence minister Sergei Shoigu, around 300,000 reservists (former conscripts) will be called up to fight in the war. It is the first time since World War II that reservists have been called up.

In a massive crackdown, the police have arrested more than 1,300 people so far. The footage shows the police manhandling and pushing the protesters. The demonstrations against Vladimir Putin's war have been seen in Moscow, Siberia, Yekaterinburg and St Petersburg.

Protesters in Moscow chanted "No to war!" and "Life to our children!" reported The Associated Press. While protesters in St Petersburg chanted "No mobilisation!"

Several protesters in Siberia carried signs reading "No to war! No to mobilisation!" and "Our husbands, fathers, and brothers do not want to kill other husbands and fathers!"

"Everyone is scared. I am for peace and I don't want to have to shoot. But coming out now is very dangerous, otherwise, there would be many more people," a protester told AFP.

According to independent monitoring group OVD-Info, the authorities are directly conscripting the detained protesters into the military. One of them was threatened with prosecution for refusing to be drafted.

Putin's actions are being condemned not only by his countrymen but by leaders across the world.

British Prime Minister Liz Truss and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, in a joint statement, said that Putin's partial mobilisation is a sign of "weakness," reports CNN.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that Russia wants war. It "talks about the talks but announces a military mobilisation," said Zelensky, reacting to Putin's actions.

Russian police officers in Moscow. REUTERS PHOTOGRAPHER