Shocking satellite images show just how many people are trying to flee Russia
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Featured Image Credit: Maxar Technologies
Satellite images captured over the border between Russia and Georgia shows thousands of people trying to flee the country after president Vladimir Putin announced the 'partial mobilisation' of reservists to fight in Ukraine.
Putin made his declaration during a televised address last week, seven months after he first sent Russian troops into Ukraine for his 'special military operation'.
Claiming the west had tried to turn 'Ukraine’s people into cannon fodder', the president said 300,000 Russians with 'previous military experience' would be mobilised to take part in the war.
Putin made clear the service would apply 'only to citizens who are currently in the reserve', but residents are evidently not willing to wait around and risk being called up as images show many hundreds of cars edging their way out of Russia.
Large traffic jams can be seen at the Lars checkpoint between Russia and Georgia in the images shared by Maxar Technologies, which were caught on 25 September.
Residents have even been seen travelling on foot to escape Russia and move to neighbouring countries, with some fleeing to Kazakhstan as well as Georgia.
Officials in Kazakhstan have said 98,000 Russians have arrived following Putin's announcement last week, while Georgia's interior ministry told ABC News it had greeted 100,000 Russians. A further 66,000 Russians are also reported to have entered the European Union over the past week.
One 37-year-old man who fled to Kazakhstan said the line at one checkpoint stretched for nearly 20 miles, describing it as 'hellish'.
Speaking to ABC, he continued: "It's endless. And moreover at all checkpoints."
#SatelliteImagery from September 25, 2022 shows a large traffic jam of vehicles leaving #Russia and attempting to cross the border into #Georgia, at the Lars checkpoint, following Russian President Putin’s mobilization order for the war in #Ukraine. pic.twitter.com/iHUsC8hYs2— Maxar Technologies (@Maxar) September 26, 2022
The man has no military experience and therefore is not subject to the draft, but he decided to get out of the country out of fear that the borders would close. He spent 20 hours trying to reach the border from Moscow, before eventually making his way to the border city of Uralsk, on the Kazakhstan side.
"There is a risk that later you will simply find yourself in a cage," he said.
His escape came despite the fact he only had £233 ($250) with him. He plans to stay with relatives before finding work in Kazakhstan, though he acknowledged that he's in for a 'hard time'.
"I'm preparing myself that I won't know where to sleep, what I'm going to eat," he explained.
The Kremlin has not yet made a decision on whether it will close Russia's borders.
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Topics: News, Russia, Ukraine, Technology, Vladimir Putin