The first batch of Russian reservists forcibly sent to the frontlines in Ukraine following Vladimir Putin’s announcement on Wednesday, Sep. 21 were given just hours to pack their bags and bid farewell to their families.
In a video being widely circulated on social media platforms, Russian men from a small town in Yakutsk were filmed crying whilst hastily saying goodbye to their families, before heading off for brief military training.
In other video clips that followed Putin’s call to conscript an additional 300,000 Russian men into the army, convoys of military vehicles can be seen speeding towards training centres carrying conscripts.
As reported by British daily newspaper The Metro, many Russian men of conscription age found themselves being awoken in the middle of the night and handed their draft papers, with others being handed them when they arrived at work on the morning of Thursday, Sep. 22.
It is also alleged that men who do not technically qualify for mobilisation are still being called up, with a 62-year-old trauma doctor alleging that military officials arrived at his clinic and informed him he had just four hours to pack his belongings and board a bus to a training centre.
Meanwhile, tens of thousands of Russians have begun their attempts to flee the oppressive nation upon the news of forced conscriptions, with five-hour long queues building up on the borders to Finland, Mongolia, and Georgia.
Many flights leaving the country have already sold out, with ticket prices continuing to soar amid huge demand. Those who have managed to purchase seats on one-way trips out of Russia have reported being filtered into queues and checked by officials to ensure they are not eligible to fight in Russia’s brutal, ongoing invasion of Ukraine.
One man who managed to get out of Russia told The Metro: “All men are now stopped at Sheremetyevo Airport in Moscow, their documents are taken away.
“They are all asked if they served in the military, and when they bought their tickets.
“Next is either interrogation, or they are left to go in 15 or 20 minutes after a thorough document check.”
Another man, this time from the frontier with Kazakhstan, said: “We left Saratov at 6pm to Uralsk in Kazakhstan.
“It was a bad road, and there was a giant jam at the border.
“Nearly everyone I managed to speak said they were running away from mobilisation.”
In the meantime, Russian authorities have allegedly resorted to threatening “recruits” with legal sanctions if they commit acts of self-harm, following reports of wives and girlfriends threatening to break the bones of partners to render them unfit for conscription.
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