The Russian system does not let grass grow on it. Shortly after Putin and his Defense Minister Shoigu announced that 300,000 reserve soldiers should prepare for the battle in Ukraine, photos of the first letters of invitation that fell into mailboxes were already circulating.
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The next day, the first heart-wrenching pictures of men saying goodbye to their wives and children appeared, before boarding the waiting buses. It is said that the first photos came from a remote village near the city of Yakutsk in the center of the country.
They are supposed to first be transported to a training camp, to be deployed to the front in a few weeks or months.
The announcement of “partial mobilization” caused much unrest in Russia. The description in the decree of who deserves to be summoned remained vague. Are only men with a military past called, or is it broader? The vague wording “military specialists” used by Defense Minister Shoigu is rather suggestive of the second.
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Many Russians seemed to want to fly forward. Flights abroad sold out desperately on Wednesday and search terms like “How do I leave Russia?” or “How did you break my arm?” It got too big all of a sudden on Google. At the border crossings with neighboring countries such as Finland, Georgia, Mongolia and Kazakhstan, there were long traffic jams.
Read also. “How did you break my arm?” It’s been a popular search term on Google in Russia since yesterday
Protestants get their enlistment papers
On Thursday, the Kremlin said reports of an exodus of conscripts from Russia were “exaggerated”. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov also did not deny that some of the demonstrators against the crowd, who were arrested on Wednesday night, had obtained recruitment papers: “This is not against the law.”
But for some it was already too late to escape. A woman from Kursk, not far from the border with Ukraine, who was married to a soldier said: “They don’t let anyone out of Kursk. There are police checkpoints everywhere that check every car. When a man drives, they check; if it’s a woman, they ask her. to open the luggage compartment.
Street protests already took place in dozens of major cities on Wednesday and were quickly quelled.
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