After Putin’s summons, people queue at borders to leave Russia

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A social media video of Russia’s land borders with several countries shows long lines of traffic trying to leave the country the day after President Vladimir Putin’s announcement of a “partial mobilisation”.

There were queues at border crossings to Kazakhstan, Georgia and Mongolia. Video showed dozens of vehicles lining up at the Zemo Larsi/Verkhny Lars checkpoint on the Georgia-Russia border overnight Wednesday.

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That line seems to have grown this Thursday. Video showed a long line stretching into the mountains behind the intersection, with one man commenting that it was five to six kilometers long.

Another video posted on Thursday showed long lines crossing from Khaykhta to Mongolia.

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A man spoke about a video recorded at the crossing from Troitsk to Kazakhstan, where dozens of cars were lined up on Thursday morning.

“This is Troitsk, lines of trucks and passenger vehicles… you can’t see the beginning or end of this line… everyone, everyone is fleeing Russia, all sorts.”

A senior Kazakh official, Maulen Ashimbaev, said Kazakhstan cannot restrict Russian citizens from entering the country, Russian state news agency RIA Novosti reported on Thursday.

But Ashimbaev, the speaker of the upper house of the Kazakh parliament, said that in order to obtain a residence permit, applicants must have a set of documents that comply with the law.

It is difficult to compare the current traffic flow with the average in the absence of official data.

Flights from Russia to visa-free countries remain very busy and often sold out. A search on the Aviasales website showed there were no seats available on the cheap one-way Moscow-Istanbul flights until Sunday — with the lowest price nearly $2,900.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Thursday dismissed reports of crowded airports with people trying to leave Russia after the announcement, calling it “exaggeration” and “fake news”.

Source: CNN Brasil

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