Over 250,000 Men Left Russia to Avoid Mobilization
i24 News – More than 250,000 people left Russia after President Vladimir Putin announced “partial” mobilization of reservists to reinforce troops in Ukraine, according to sources.
A governmental source confirmed this information to the Russian independent Novaya Gazeta Europe newspaper, after discussions at the highest level concerning the possible closure of the borders to men eligible for mobilization, while long queues have formed at land border crossings and crowded flights have been leaving the country since Wednesday.
According to the newspaper’s source, 261,000 men left Russia between Wednesday and Saturday evening.
Russia’s Security forces and the Defense Ministry believe they will be able to convince the Russian president to close border crossings to men of military age “before it’s too late,” the official close to Putin’s administration told the newspaper.
The Kremlin has also admitted “errors” during the mobilization of hundreds of thousands of reservists to fight in Ukraine.
“There are cases where the decree has been violated,” said the Kremlin spokesman, adding he hopes “mistakes will be corrected.” He noted that the authorities had not “made a decision” on closing the borders to men of military age.
Finnish border guards announced on Monday that they had recorded the busiest weekend of the year for Russian entries, with 17,000 crossings. On Saturday, 8,572 Russians entered Finland via the land border – for 4,199 exits to Russia, and 8,314 on Sunday – for 5,068 exits, according to statistics released on Monday.
Separately, a man opened fire on Monday at a Russian army recruiting center in Siberia’s Ust-Ilimsk, an industrial city 600 kilometers north of Irkutsk, seriously injuring a soldier who worked there.
In a statement, the Russian Investigative Committee said the suspect was a 25-year-old resident of this city Ruslan Zinin. His mother told reports that her son was very upset that his best friend was mobilized the day before the attack.
This incident comes as protests continue across Russia against the partial mobilization ordered by Putin on September 21.