Russia poised to close borders to stop military-aged men from fleeing

26 September 2022, 20:52 | Updated: 26 September 2022, 23:24

Many people are fleeing from Russia over fears of the being drafted
Many people are fleeing from Russia over fears of the being drafted. Picture: Alamy

By StephenRigley

The Kremlin looks set to close the Russian borders to stop the flow of military-aged men from fleeing the country after Vladimir Putin declared a ‘partial mobilisation’.

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The Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov refused to deny that the borders would close.

Peskov said “no decisions have been taken” on whether martial law will be enforced and whether the borders will be closed.

A senior member of parliament of Russia’s upper house has called for men of fighting age to be prevented from crossing the border.

Sergei Tsekov told Russian news agency, IRA: "Everyone who is of conscription age should be banned from travelling abroad in the current situation.”

Some reports suggest 261,000 men had fled the country since Putin’s announcement last Wednesday
Some reports suggest 261,000 men had fled the country since Putin’s announcement last Wednesday. Picture: Alamy

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Putin’s ‘partial mobilisation’ order has caused significant panic in the country, which affects much of the male population. This has caused many people to flee.

Independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta reported that 261,000 men had fled the country since Putin’s announcement last Wednesday.

Over 17,000 Russians fled across the Finnish border to escape the country over the weekend. Russian state media also said that the queue to cross the Georgian border would be a two-day wait.

Protests have broken out across the country in rare clashes with the Russian authorities
Protests have broken out across the country in rare clashes with the Russian authorities. Picture: Alamy

Disorder has spread across the country to protest the mobilisation. So far more than 2,000 people have been detained over protests.

The Russian government is seeking to recruit 300,000 additional soldiers to bolster their military in Ukraine. In the initial announcement, the Kremlin said only reservists with previous military experience would be called up, and they would also receive further training.

However, there have been many reports of non-reservists being forced to enlist.

Many individuals have been handed summonses to enlist after being detained for protesting. If they refused, they were told they could face a 10-year jail sentence.

The Russian government is seeking to recruit 300,000 additional soldiers to bolster their military in Ukraine
The Russian government is seeking to recruit 300,000 additional soldiers to bolster their military in Ukraine. Picture: Alamy

A leaked video also showed prisoners being offered pardons if they agree to fight on the front-line in Ukraine.

Following the anger about the draft, where half a dozen draft centres were torched in arson attacks, the Kremlin had to admit that mistakes had been made during the draft recruitment. “There are cases when the [mobilisation] decree was violated … governors are actively working to rectify the situation,” the Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said.

There was also a very rare outbreak of violence against the Russian authorities on Saturday. Videos posted to social media showed demonstrators clashing with police who resorted to using stun-guns and truncheons on the crowd.

At least 2,000 people have been arrested for protesting
At least 2,000 people have been arrested for protesting. Picture: Alamy

One video shows a man head-butting a police officer before being beaten by other Russian authorities.

Another video shows a security officer trying to escape a crowd.

Earlier today, a gunman was detained for shooting at a Russian military draft office in the Irkutsk region of Siberia. This is just one of several attacks on Russian draft offices since Putin announced part mobilisation last Wednesday.

Citizens in four regions of currently taking part in a Moscow-organised referendum over joining Russia. Armed Russian soldiers are going door to door to verbally collect results in occupied regions. Kyiv and the West said the referendum is sham and they will not recognise the results.

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