What does Putin’s partial military mobilization mean for Russia and Ukraine?
Cars have also lined up on Russia’s borders with Finland and Kazakhstan since last week, when Putin announced the call up of hundreds of thousands of reservists to take part in the Kremlin’s faltering war in Ukraine. This marks Russia’s first military mobilization since World War II.
Shortly after the presentation, tickets to the few cities that still had direct flights from Russia sold out, and Google searches increased for queries like “how to leave Russia”.
Sold out flights, protests and arrests as Russia begins to mobilize
Confusion over who can be called has also prompted thousands to flee, along with fears that Russia’s borders may be closed to military age.
If they don’t want to deploy to Ukraine, they don’t have much choice. Russian flights in EU airspace were banned and the Baltic states closed their land borders. Stacks of abandoned bicycles near border posts have emerged in social media footage in recent days.
Russia’s TASS news agency said more than 5,000 vehicles waited for hours at the Georgian border on Tuesday.
In Kazakhstan, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said on Tuesday his country would discuss the influx with Moscow and seek to “keep an agreement with its neighbors”. He called it a “difficult situation” but said there was no reason to panic after reports of tens of thousands of Russian citizens crossing the border in recent days.
Finnish authorities say arrivals from Russia have increased by nearly 80% after mobilization, but Finnish border guards also said On Tuesday, “the majority of arrivals diverted to other countries”.
Anger erupts as Russian mobilization hits minority areas and protesters
Despite growing signs of a backlash against the mobilization, the Kremlin has described reports of the exodus as exaggerated.
Riot police have arrested hundreds of protesters as human rights groups fear the order will disproportionately round up men in remote or impoverished parts of the country. A man shot and wounded a recruiter at a recruiting station in the Irkutsk region on Monday.
Mary Ilyushina contributed to this report.
Ukraine war: what you need to know
Newest: Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a “partial mobilization” of the military in his Sept. 9 national address. On the 21st, the move was characterized as an attempt to defend Russia’s sovereignty against the West, which was trying to use Ukraine as a tool to “divide and destroy Russia.” Follow us here for live updates.
Fight: A successful Ukrainian counteroffensive in recent days has forced Russia into a massive retreat in the northeastern region of Kharkiv as troops fled the cities and villages they had occupied since the early days of the war and abandoned vast quantities of military equipment.
Merger referendum: The staged referendum, which is illegal under international law, will begin on September 1. According to the Russian news agency, from the 23rd to the 27th local time, the separate regions of Luhansk and Donetsk in eastern Ukraine. The Moscow-appointed government will start another staged referendum in Kherson on Friday.
photo: Photographers for The Washington Post have been on the ground since the war began — some of their most influential work.
How you can help: Here’s how Americans can help support the people of Ukraine, and people around the world have been giving.
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