Russian men join exodus, fearing call-as much as fight in Ukraine – The Connected Press


ISTANBUL (AP) — Military-aged men fled Russia in droves Friday, filling planes and causing congested zones at border crossings to avert being put together to battle in Ukraine following a Kremlin’s partial military mobilization.

Queues stretching for 10 kilometers (6 miles) created on the road resulting in the southern border with Georgia, based on Yandex Maps, a Russian online map service.

The lines of cars were such a long time in the border with Kazakhstan that many people abandoned their vehicles and began by walking — just like some Ukrainians did after Russia invaded their country on February. 24.

Meanwhile, a large number of flights from Russia — with tickets offered at sky-high costs — transported men to worldwide destinations for example Poultry, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Serbia, where Russians do not need visas.

Among individuals who arrived at Poultry would be a 41-year-old who arrived in Istanbul having a suitcase along with a backpack and intends to begin a new existence in Israel.

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“I’m from this war, and I’m not really part of it. I’m not really a killer. I am not likely to kill people,” stated the person, who identified themself only as Yevgeny to prevent potential retribution against his family left out in Russia.

He known Russian President Vladimir Putin like a “war criminal.”

Yevgeny made the decision to leave after Putin announced an incomplete military call-on Wednesday. The entire quantity of reservists involved may be as high as 300,000.

Some Russian men also fled to neighboring Belarus, Russia’s close ally. However that transported risk.

The Nasha Niva newspaper, among the earliest independent newspapers in Belarus, reported that Belarusian security services were purchased to find Russians fleeing in the draft, locate them in hotels and rented apartments and report these to Russian government bodies.

German government officials voiced a wish to assist Russian men deserting military service, plus they known as for any European solution.

“Those who fearlessly endure Putin’s regime and therefore put themselves in great danger can use for asylum in Germany due to political persecution,” the spokesman for German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser stated.

The spokesman, Maximilian Kall, stated deserters and individuals refusing to become drafted would receive refugee status in Germany if they’re vulnerable to serious repression, though every situation is examined individually.

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However they would first need to make it to Germany, without any land border with Russia, and like other Eu countries is becoming much more hard for Russians to go to.

The EU banned direct flights between its 27 member states and Russia following the attack on Ukraine, and lately decided to limit issuing Schengen visas, which permit free movement across a lot of Europe.

4 out of 5 EU countries that border Russia — Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Belgium — also lately made the decision to show away Russian vacationers.

Some European officials view fleeing Russians as potential security risks. They hope that by not opening their borders, it’ll increase pressure against Putin in your own home.

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Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics stated Thursday that lots of individuals fleeing “were fine with killing Ukrainians. They didn’t protest then. It’s not to consider them as careful objectors.”

The main one EU country that’s still accepting Russians with Schengen visas is Finland, with a 1,340-kilometer (830-mile) border with Russia.

Finland border pads stated Friday that the amount of people entering from Russia has rose dramatically, with media reporting a 107% increase in contrast to a week ago.

At Vaalimaa, among the busiest crossings around the border, the road of waiting cars extended for half a kilometer (another of the mile), the Finnish Border Guard stated.

Finnish broadcaster MTV transported interviews with Russian men that had just entered into Finland in the Virolahti border crossing, including having a person called Yuri from Moscow who stated that no “sane person” wants to visit war.

A Russian man from St. Petersburg, Andrei Balakirov, stated he’d been psychologically ready to leave Russia for six months but wait before the mobilization.

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“I think it’s a very bad factor,” he stated.

Valery, a guy from Samara who had been going to The country, agreed, calling the mobilization “a great tragedy.”

“It’s difficult to describe what’s happening. Personally i think sorry for individuals who have to combat their will. I’ve heard tales that individuals happen to be given these orders in the actual roads — frightening.”

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Connected Press authors Frank Jordans in Berlin Vanessa Gera in Warsaw, Belgium Jan M. Olsen in Copenhagen, Denmark and Zeynep Bilginsoy in Istanbul contributed.

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