At least 600,000 flee Russia following military call-up announcement - media

At least 600,000 flee Russia following military call-up announcement - media

Almost two weeks into Vladimir Putin’s declaration of the partial mobilization in Russia, from 600,000 to 1 million people crossed out of the country, as per various estimates.

This was reported by the Russian edition of Forbes citing sources, according to Ukrinform.

Almost 1 million people have left Russia since the mobilization began, said a source familiar with Kremlin estimates. Another interlocutor in the presidential administration clarified that it is about 600,000-700,000 Russians. The calculation is complicated by the fact that it is impossible to clearly tell who is leaving the country to flee mobilization and who is crossing out for tourism or other purposes.

Immediately after the call-up was announced on September 21, longs queues formed at Russian border checkpoints. The one that got most of the media attention was the Verkhnii Lars checkpoint on the Russo-Georgian border, where people stood in line for up to five days, often without food or water. A mobile draft point of the Russian Military Commissariat was set up in the area, reports said. On October 3, the traffic jam at the border has been cleared so cars are now passing freely.

Read also: Secret poll run by Kremlin proves negative attitude among Russians to military call-up - intelligence

On October 4, the head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Kazakhstan, Marat Akhmetzhanov, said that since September 21, some 200,000 Russian citizens have entered the country. During the same period, 147,000 Russians left its territory.

On September 27, the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia reported that 53,000 Russians arrived in the country throughout the week, with 10,000 crossing the border daily, which is 40-45% more than before September 21.

In the same first week, 66,000 Russians entered the EU, which is 30% more than before the call-up was declared, according to the EU border agency Frontex. The agency reported that most entered through the Finnish and Estonian borders.

On September 30, the Russian ambassador to Helsinki, Pavlo Kuznetsov, said that after September 21, about 60,000 Russians entered Finland, 80% of whom are transiting to other European countries. Kuznetsov emphasized that it is unclear exactly how many of those leaving Russia are citing partial mobilization as the reason. According to the migration service, about 100 people applied for asylum.

Read also: Putin's mobilization will further upend Russian economy - POLITICO

At the beginning of September, even before the mobilization was announced, the Rosstat statistics agency reported that 419,000 people had left Russia since war-start, which is twice as many as in the same period last year. In general, the migration outflow amounted to 96,000 against an increase of 114,000 in 2021.

As reported, on September 21, Russian President Putin signed a decree on “partial mobilization.” It is claimed that to 300,000 reservists will be called up for military service. However, the cap of the intended draft is not disclosed in the unclassified part of the decree. Russian mass media in exile claimed that about a million people could be deployed to take part in hostilities in Ukraine.

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