The number of people detained in Russia for protesting against the country's partial military mobilization has risen to nearly 2,500 people across the country, as prominent pro-Kremlin voices have begun questioning the way the draft is being conducted.
OVD-Info, a human rights group that monitors political arrests in Russia, said that 2,353 people had been detained as of September 25, and at least 141 new detentions had been recorded on September 26.
The highest one-day number of detentions came on September 21, when protests were held in 43 cities immediately after the draft was announced.
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The rights group has said that there might be more detainees than those published by police and that it was only reporting names it could verify.
It was unclear if the latest figures included the detentions of anti-mobilization protesters in the capital of the southern Russian republic of Daghestan on September 25.
Caucasus.Realities reported that police dispersed an unknown number of people who had gathered in Makhachkala to express their anger over the draft.
In one of multiple videos shared on Telegram capturing the confrontation, a police officer is shown beating a protester as two other officers hold the man down.
OVD-Info said on September 26 that protesters who were detained in Makhachkala were beaten after being taken to a police department in the city's Lenin district, and that officers had refused to provide detainees with water.
The rights group also quoted a correspondent for the Caucasian Knot website as saying that he was held along with 60 other detainees at an Interior Ministry branch in Makhachkala's Soviet district.
The correspondent, Murad Muradov, said that "some of the detainees were forced by the police to sign a protocol, threatening that otherwise they would be given a summons to the military registration and enlistment office." In at least one case, Muradov added, "they carried out their threat."
WATCH: Hundreds came out in the North Caucasus region of Daghestan on September 25 to protest against the partial mobilization announced by Russian President Vladimir Putin on September 21 in an effort to step up the ongoing war against Ukraine.
The nationwide demonstrations erupted within hours of President Vladimir Putin announcing the partial military mobilization on September 21, which is intended to buttress Russian military forces fighting in Ukraine.
Russian police have been mobilized in cities where protests were called for by the opposition group Vesna and supporters of opposition politician Aleksei Navalny.
Images on Russian media have shown scenes of police using force against demonstrators, and many young men detained during the protests have reportedly been summoned to register for military service.
In Crimea, the Ukrainian peninsula that Russia occupied and annexed in 2014, the Russian-installed leadership said on September 25 that their mobilization would be completed by the end of the day.
The call-up came as Russian forces suffered significant losses of occupied territories in Ukraine's east owing to a counteroffensive launched by the Ukrainian military. Putin followed up on his mobilization order on September 24 by imposing harsher penalties against Russians who willingly surrendered to Ukrainian forces or refused orders to mobilize.
Russian officials have said that up to 300,000 reserve forces will be called up and that only those with relevant combat and service experience will be drafted to fight. However, Russian media reports have surfaced saying that men who have never been in the military or who are past draft age are being called up, and foreign media have reported that the real goal is to mobilize more than 1 million soldiers, which the Kremlin denies.
Western officials say that Russia has suffered 70,000 to 80,000 casualties, accounting for both deaths and injuries, since it launched its unprovoked war in Ukraine in February.
The mobilization to replenish those losses has seen men across Russia sent to register and to reports of Russian citizens attempting to flee the country.
Several military enlistment centers and other administrative buildings in the country have been targeted in arson attacks in recent days, and on September 26 a military commissioner was shot by an apparent recruit at an enlistment center in Siberia.
Media reports say the 25-year-old shooter had been called to report to the office in the city of Ust-Ilimsk for mobilization that day.
The draft has also led to rare complaints by pro-Kremlin voices.
Margarita Simonyan, the editor in chief of the state-backed media outlet RT, wrote on her Telegram channel on September 24 that while it had been announced that only people up to the age of 35 would be recruited, "summonses are going to 40-year-olds."
"They're infuriating people, as if on purpose, as if out of spite," Simonyan said of the authorities behind the draft.
The same day, the head of the Russian president's Human Rights Council, Valery Fadeyev, called on Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu to put a halt to the manner with which many draft boards in the country were proceeding.
On September 25, two of Russia's most senior lawmakers weighed in on the growing controversy.
In a Telegram post, Valentina Matviyenko, chairwoman of Russia's Federation Council, said that she was aware of reports that men who should be ineligible for the draft are being called up.
"Such excesses are absolutely unacceptable. And I consider it absolutely right that they are triggering a sharp reaction in society," she wrote.
Vyacheslav Volodin, speaker of the State Duma, wrote in a separate post that "complaints are being received."
"If a mistake is made, it is necessary to correct it," he said. "Authorities at every level should understand their responsibilities."