Border lines formed as people flee Russia to avoid Putin’s call-up

Long queues of vehicles continue across Russia’s border for the second day of Vladimir Putin’s military mobilization, with some waiting more than 24 hours as Western leaders disagree over whether Europe should welcome those fleeing the call-up needed. Ukraine,

Due to the decision of the Russian President to announce the first mobilization since World War II a rush Among men of military age leaving the country, a new, possibly unprecedented brain drain is likely to occur in the coming days and weeks.

with witnesses at the border GeorgiaA popular route used by Russians to leave the country, said some men resorted to bicycles and scooters to bypass miles-long queues of traffic jams.

footage from the scene roam This news seems to be confirmed on social media.

“I’ve been waiting in my car since Thursday afternoon,” said Anton, who declined to give his surname out of fear it might complicate his journey. “Everyone is worried that by the time we get close to it, the border will be closed,” he said.

routes outside Russia map

Usually sleepy border crossings in Kazakhstan and Mongolia are looking for a way out of the sudden influx of Russians.

Russian international borders are open for now, but there are widespread fears Putin will impose martial law next week to prevent the men from leaving the country.

Countless social media groups have offered advice on how to flee Russia, while independent news sites operating out of the country list “where to flee Russia now”.

Meanwhile, there are calls in the West to reverse some of its travel restrictions imposed on Russia after the country’s invasion on February 23.

“This may be a moment for the Russians to reconsider the visa issue … Helping those who want to flee from organizing, humanitarian and military would be a good decision,” tweeted Gérard Aroud, a veteran French diplomat and former ambassador to the US.

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Germany on Friday opened the door to the possibility of allowing Russian deserters to enter its country, saying it welcomed reports that “many” Russians did not want to fight in Ukraine.

“Many Russians who are now being called in also do not want to participate in this war. This is a good sign,” a government spokesman told reporters at a news conference.

“A way must be left open for the Russians to come” Europe And also for Germany,” he added.

But the three Baltic countries and Poland, the nation that earlier this week closed its borders For most Russians, that has pushed back against giving asylum to the Russians who fled so far.

The Lithuanian defense minister, Arvidas Anusauskas, said on Thursday that it is “not enough to be drafted into the military” for Russians to seek asylum in his country, which borders the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad.

The Estonian foreign minister, Urmas Rensalu, told Reuters: “The refusal to fulfill one’s civic duty in Russia or the desire to do so does not constitute a sufficient basis for seeking asylum in another country.”

Finland, the last EU country to still allow entry to Russians with tourist visas, said it was considering introducing new laws to reduce the number of Russians entering the country.

“The fear is that we are the only border country through which it is possible to travel from Russia to Europe with a Schengen visa granted by another country,” Finland’s Foreign Minister Pekka Havisto told local media on Wednesday.

Its makers across the country say that despite all the trouble, they were happy to be out of reach of Russian military recruiting centers that already have drafted hundreds of men.

Oleg, who told the Guardian on Thursday about his plans to flee the country by driving from the southern city of Orenburg to Kazakhstan, said he spent more than seven hours at the border before eventually exiting Russia.

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“At some point, I was getting desperate,” he said. “But it was definitely worth the wait.”

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