The “great exodus” of Russians: They cross the border to avoid conscription, they also leave on… bicycles

The “great exodus” of Russians: They cross the border to avoid conscription, they also leave on… bicycles
The “great exodus” of Russians: They cross the border to avoid conscription, they also leave on… bicycles

“Chaos” is escalating on Russia’s land borders with its neighboring countries, after Putin’s announcement of partial mobilization.

Russian citizens, as soon as conscription was announced by Vladimir Putin’s decree, rushed to leave the country – not knowing when they would return.

Can Putin’s enlistment change the outcome of the war? Analysts say no

Russians cross to Finland to avoid conscription – 7,000 people crossed the border yesterday

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At the same time, there is tension inside the country, as citizens who have not left have taken to the streets to protest the conscription decision, saying they do not want to die for the Russian president or “Putin to go to the front”.

Already yesterday, “queues” of vehicles had begun to form on Russia’s borders with Georgia and Finland, as citizens tried by all means to leave the country to escape the war, while tickets for air flights, non-returnable.

Russia-Georgia border:

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CNN reports covering the “great exodus” of Russians, saying the reason they’re leaving the country is basically one: to avoid being drafted into Putin’s brutal war, which is already showing signs of failure on several fronts.

Ivan, a man who declared himself an officer in Russia’s reserves and left his country for Belarus on Thursday, told CNN the motive was clear: “I don’t support what’s happening, so I decided I had to leave immediately.”

On Russia’s border with Finland:

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“I felt like the doors were closing and if I didn’t leave now, I might not be able to leave later,” Ivan said, adding that he thought of a close friend back home with two young children who, unlike him, couldn’t pack up. his things and leave.

Alexei, a 29-year-old who arrived in Georgia from Russia by bus on Thursday, told CNN the decision was partly due to his “roots.”

“Half of my family is Ukrainian … I’m not in the reserves now, because of this wave of conscription, but I think if this continues, all men will be qualified,” he said.

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Russians leave on bicycles to avoid queues

Eyewitnesses at the border with Georgia, according to the “Guardian”, said that some citizens resorted to the use of bicycles and scooters to bypass the multi-kilometer queue of traffic jams.

Footage from the scene circulating on social media appears to confirm these reports:

“I’ve been waiting in my car since Thursday afternoon,” Anton told the Guardian, who declined to give his last name for fear of getting involved. “Everyone is worried that the border will be closed until we get close to it,” he added.

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Border crossings into Mongolia have also been overwhelmed by the sudden influx of Russians looking for a way out.

“Everyone is running to get out of Russia”

Long lines of vehicles have formed at land border crossings in several countries as Russians leave the country.

Images in Kazakh media show vehicles set up near the Russia-Kazakhstan border. In video, published by media outlet Tengri News, a person can be heard saying that their vehicle has been “stuck for 10 hours” in Russia’s Saratov region as they try to reach Kazakhstan.

“Endless cars. Everyone is running. Everyone is running out of Russia,” the person can be heard saying in the video.

On Thursday, Kazakhstan’s National Security Committee said the border was “under special control” but was operating normally, amid an “increase in the number of foreign citizens” entering the country.

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The number of passenger vehicles entering Kazakhstan from Russia increased by 20 percent since September 21, the country’s State Revenue Committee said in a separate statement.

On Finland’s eastern border with Russia, traffic intensified on Thursday night, according to the Finnish border guard. Earlier in the day, Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin told parliament that her government is ready to take action to put “an end” to Russian tourism and transit through Finland, according to Finnish public broadcaster Yle . Many of those who left are men. Women are not part of Russia’s conscription.

Travel agency websites also showed a dramatic increase in demand for flights to places where Russians do not need visas to travel. Ticketing websites indicated that direct flights to those countries were sold out at least until Friday, while reports said people were already struggling to find ways to leave the country.

At least two Russians who left the country, one by land and one by air, told CNN that the fleeing men are being interrogated by Russian authorities, with questions such as whether they had military training and other questions about Russia and Ukraine.

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Tags: great exodus Russians cross border avoid conscription leave on .. bicycles

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