What does Putin’s partial military mobilization mean for Russia and Ukraine?
Since last week, when Putin announced a call for hundreds of thousands of reservists to fight in the Kremlin’s faltering war in Ukraine, cars have also been lined up on Russia’s borders with Finland and Kazakhstan. It is Russia’s first military mobilization since World War II.
Shortly after the speech, tickets sold out for the few cities that still have direct flights from Russia, and Google searches skyrocketed for questions like “how to get out of Russia.”
As mobilization begins in Russia, sold out flights, protests and arrests
Confusion over who can be drafted has also led thousands to flee, along with fears that Russia’s borders could close to military-aged men.
They don’t have many options if they don’t want to send to Ukraine. Russian flights in EU airspace are banned and the Baltic countries closed their land borders. Piles of abandoned bicycles at border posts appeared on social media in recent days.
Russia’s TASS news agency said more than 5,000 cars waited for hours at the border with Georgia on Tuesday.
In Kazakhstan, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said on Tuesday that his country would talk to Moscow about the influx and try to “maintain agreement with neighboring countries”. He called it a “difficult situation” but said there was no need to panic after tens of thousands of crossings by Russian citizens were reported in recent days.
Finnish authorities said they saw an almost 80 percent increase in arrivals from Russia after the mobilization, but the Finnish Border Guard also said: Tuesday that “the majority of arrivals go to other countries”.
Anger flares as Russian mobilization hits minority regions and protesters
The Kremlin has described reports of an exodus as exaggerated, despite mounting signs of a backlash on mobilization.
Riot police have arrested hundreds of protesters as human rights groups worry that the warrant will disproportionately detain men in remote or impoverished parts of the country. And at a recruiting station in the Irkutsk region, a man shot and wounded a military recruiter on Monday.
Mary Ilyushina contributed to this report.
War in Ukraine: what you need to know
The last: Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a “partial mobilization” of troops in a speech to the nation on Sept. 21, interpreting the move as an attempt to defend Russian sovereignty against a West that wants to use Ukraine as a tool to ” divide and destroy Russia”. .” Follow our live updates here.
The fight: A successful Ukrainian counter-offensive has led to a major Russian retreat in the northeastern region of Kharkov in recent days as troops fled the towns and villages they had occupied since the early days of the war, leaving behind large amounts of military equipment.
Annexation referendums: Organized referenda, allegedly illegal under international law, will take place from September 23 to 27 in the breakaway regions of Luhansk and Donetsk in eastern Ukraine, according to Russian news agencies. From Friday, another phased referendum will be held by the Moscow-appointed government in Kherson.
Photos: Photographers for the Washington Post have been on the scene since the beginning of the war – here is some of their most powerful work.
How you can help: Here are ways people in the US can help support the Ukrainian people, as well as what people around the world have donated.
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