Moscow sets up military service bureaus on borders to intercept fleeing Russians: reports – National

Long lines of Russians trying to escape the call to fight in Ukraine continued to clog highways out of the country on Wednesday, and Moscow has reportedly set up design bureaus at the borders to intercept some of them.

North Ossetia, a Russian region bordering Georgia, declared a state of “high alert” and said food, water, heating stations and other aid should be delivered to those who have queued for days. Volunteers on the Georgian side of the border have also brought water, blankets and other aid.

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Russians fleeing mobilization order arrive at Finnish border: ‘I just wanted to be safe’

North Ossetia prevented many passenger cars from entering its territory and set up a design bureau at the Verkhy Lars border crossing, Russian news agencies said. Some media have released photos at the crosswalk showing a black van with “military recruiting office” on it.

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According to the independent Russian news channel Meduza, another such checkpoint was set up in Russia along the Finnish border.

Tens of thousands of Russian men have fled in the week since President Vladimir Putin announced a mobilization to bolster struggling Russian forces in Ukraine. Although Putin said the call was “partially” aimed at recalling about 300,000 men with past military service, many Russians fear it will be much broader and more arbitrary than that. There are numerous reports of men with no military training and of all ages receiving draft messages.

Alexander Kamisentsev, who left his home in Saratov for Georgia, described the scene on the Russian side of the border.

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“It’s all very scary – tears, screams, a huge number of people. There is a feeling that the government does not know how to organize it. It seems they want to close the border, but at the same time they are afraid that protests will follow and they are letting people leave,” he told the AP.

He said he decided to leave at the last minute “because I’m not going to kill my Ukrainian brothers or go to jail”.

Click to play video: 'Russian men queue for miles at border crossings after Putin's mobilization announcement'

Russian men queue for miles at border crossings after Putin’s mobilization announcement

Russian men queue for miles at border crossings after Putin’s mobilization announcement

Protesters carrying Georgian and Ukrainian flags and signs like “Russia Kills” greeted Russians at the border on Wednesday. Giga Lemonjava of the Droa political party, which organized the protest, said the evacuees threaten Georgia’s security and economy.

One protester, Helen Khoshtaria, tweeted: “We have organized a protest at the border today so that incoming Russians know how we feel about their ‘Russian world’.”

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Russians rush to flee the country after Putin orders partial military mobilization

Russians have crossed by car, bicycle, scooter and on foot. According to Yandex Maps, the traffic jam leading to Verkhny Lars, a town near the border between Georgia and North Ossetia, was about 15 kilometers long on Tuesday.

Georgia’s interior ministry said more than 53,000 Russians have entered the country since last week.

Also, there are long lines at the border with Kazakhstan, which has taken in more than 98,000 Russians in the past week.

Russia has land borders with 14 countries.

© 2022 The Canadian Press

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