Thousands of Russian citizens are trying to flee the country to avoid a mobilization that could well exceed 300,000 men, according to some media outlets.
The anger keeps getting louder. Two days after Russian President Vladimir Putin’s last speech, in which he ordered a partial mobilization of the 300,000 reservists to support the soldiers already on the ground, the first departures were painful.
“That is not right”
On social networks and in several independent media, sequences filmed in some of Russia’s poorest regions show the departure of several dozen men after heartbreaking goodbyes. Among them Dmitry, a student who did not think that he would leave his family so soon.
“I didn’t expect to have to leave today, nobody told me anything in the morning. They gave me the order to mobilize with the obligation to come here at 3 p.m. We waited for 1:30 a.m. and then the officer came and said we’re going now,” he told Ostorozhno Novosti media in a video broadcast by BFMTV.
During the same sequence, his father, who had come to say goodbye to him, expressed his dissatisfaction and accused Vladimir Putin of not respecting his word. “The executive order has stated that no student will be hired. After all, they recruited him without explanation, that’s not right,” he says.
This mobilization, albeit partial, had the effect of electroshocking Russian society. In the last few hours, many Russian men have tried to leave the country via the Finnish and Georgian borders, while plane tickets from Moscow and St Petersburg have been taken by storm.
With BFMTV, Sergei, 27, who left the country since March, explains the reasons why he doesn’t want to fight in Ukraine.
“I am not prepared to take part in this war crime. It’s a war crime taking place and I have a business overseas. My life is elsewhere, I am not willing to take part in this crime against humanity,” he said.
On Tuesday, on the eve of the partial mobilization, Parliament voted for heavy prison sentences for those who refuse to join the army or the desert. However, the text has not yet entered into force.
stress and disorganization
Especially since, according to Colonel Michel Goya, defense adviser to BFMTV, the notion of reservist in Russia is absolutely not the same as in Western countries, and Vladimir Putin’s decree could actually affect well over 300,000 men:
“If we stick to the criteria, it will affect 25 million people. Every man who has worn the uniform is doing his military service, even students who have prepared for military service to avoid service. 25 million men say to themselves, ‘That could be me’. , there is a stress that fits into this society preserved from the war until then.
Added to this is a certain disorganization of the Russian army, which is clearly unprepared for such a long conflict. “Nothing is really organized, you need leaders, non-commissioned officers, officers who are in Ukraine, there is a lack of equipment, it’s the greatest rush,” he adds.
On Thursday evening, however, a spokesman for the Russian army general staff announced that 10,000 people had already volunteered to be mobilized for the offensive in Ukraine within just 24 hours.