Russia: Expert speculates on men being stopped from leaving
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British journalist Steve Rosenberg has been discussing the speculation surrounding the mass exodus of people fleeing Russia to escape being called into battle in Ukraine. Mr Rosenberg discussed Putin’s call for men with military experience to join the illegal invasion. The British journalist discussed the price of flight tickets out of Russia skyrocketing as the demand was high to leave. Mr Rosenberg discussed Russian citizens being tricked into believing that the conflict in Ukraine wasn’t a war but a special operation.
Mr Rosenberg told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “He said that people with experience, the military experience would be called up.
“So no students for example and no conscripts however, some people fear that this would be extended.
“So, already there are lots of reports of people receiving call-up papers, people who are in the military reserves.
“But as I say there is concern that this could be extended, there are lots of rumours in the air here of speculation that men of fighting age will not be allowed to leave the country.
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Mr Rosenberg added: “That explains why air tickets out of Russia were selling out fast yesterday.
“The prices of tickets have been skyrocketing, and the mood here I would say is pretty sombre.
“Because keep in mind, for seven months the Russians have been told by those in power here that what is happening in Ukraine is not a war, it’s just a special military operation.
“And suddenly they’re being told we need to call up 300,000 reservists to make sure the operation is successful.”
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Putin’s latest announcement has sent shockwaves through Russian society.
Due to his demand to bolster the Russian army fighting in Ukraine with 300,000 new men, many men in Russia are fleeing.
There have also been a number of dramatic protests in cities across Russia, and images of Russian citizens being arrested and dragged away have been circulating media outlets for the past 24hrs.
The cost of flights out of Russia has also skyrocketed, and heaps of cars packed full of ordinary Russian civilians and families with children can be seen trying to escape.
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A journalist at Israel’s public broadcasting channel Kann has announced reports of fighting-aged men not being allowed to leave Russia in the following days to come.
Amichai Stein wrote: “Reports: starting tomorrow, traffic checkpoints across Russia will be manned by military commissars and men eligible for mobilisation to be remanded into custody.”
Jussi Tanner, head of consular affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Finland said reports of men leaving Russia have “increased significantly.”
He added: “There are applications that show that there is an effort to get out of Russia and the return condition is not met. Then the visa decision is negative.”
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