Queues go back for miles as people try to leave Russia to avoid Putin's call-up

Joe Harker

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Queues go back for miles as people try to leave Russia to avoid Putin's call-up

Featured Image Credit: @nonamamulashvi/Twitter/@Caucasuswar/Twitter

Queues miles long have formed on Russia's borders as people are desperate to leave before getting drafted into Putin's invasion of Ukraine.

Almost seven months since it began, Russia's invasion of Ukraine is not going well for Vladimir Putin.

His forces sent in to conduct their 'special military operation' failed to take Kyiv and secure a quick end to the war, while Ukraine's recent counterattack appears to have swung the momentum of the conflict against him.

In response to Russia's failures on the battlefield Putin declared a partial mobilisation, the first time Russia has mobilised for war since the Second World War, calling up around 300,000 reservists with prior military experience.

He also announced a series of referendums would take place in Ukrainian region currently occupied by the Russian invasion force, intending to politically split them off from Ukraine.

Putin chillingly also threatened to use nuclear weapons if Russia's 'territorial integrity' was put at risk, insisting it was 'not a bluff' when he said he would 'use all means' and accusing the West of engaging in 'nuclear blackmail'.

The queue of cars on the Russian border with Finland goes back for miles. Credit: Shutterstock
The queue of cars on the Russian border with Finland goes back for miles. Credit: Shutterstock

Many Russians have not been enthusiastic about the partial mobilisation, with Google searches for 'how to break arm' soaring in the country as people try to avoid being drafted into the war.

Others are attempting to flee Russia, with flights leaving the country fully booked and the cost of one-way tickets rising to more than £1,100.

Those who cannot get on planes are trying to drive their way out, with queues miles long forming on Russia's borders with her neighbours as row after row of cars full of people try to leave.

According to Reuters, Finland is seeing heavy traffic making their way over the border with Russia, with border guards saying they've seen 'more than double' the numbers trying to leave compared with last week.

Some of those leaving are people who are not yet the target of Putin's drafts, but fear the situation could change again and don't want to wait around to be called up.

21-year-old student Max told Reuters he 'should not be afraid of being drafted' as he's not been in the military before but since 'things are changing very quickly so I assume there is a chance'.

Around 300,000 Russian reservists have been drafted in to bolster Putin's invasion of Ukraine. Credit: Shutterstock
Around 300,000 Russian reservists have been drafted in to bolster Putin's invasion of Ukraine. Credit: Shutterstock

Finnish border guards said that on Thursday (22 September) they counted around 7,000 people crossing into Finland from Russia, of which about 6,000 people were of Russian nationality.

Others have been trying to flee into neighbouring nations Georgia, Mongolia and Kazakhstan as they seek a way to avoid being dragged into the war.

Russia's borders are currently open, but there are fears that could change in an attempt to stop people from trying to leave and avoid being drafted.

Within Russia there are protests flaring up against the latest move from Putin in going for a partial mobilisation and sending more Russians to the front lines of his war.

Footage on social media has shown protesters being roughly arrested and put onto vans by police after large demonstrations against the Russian invasion.

Moscow threatened protesters with prison sentences of up to 15 years.

If you would like to donate to the Red Cross Emergency Appeal, which will help provide food, medicines and basic medical supplies, shelter and water to those in Ukraine, click here for more information 

Topics: News, Russia, Ukraine, Vladimir Putin, World News

Joe Harker
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