Activity continues at the Verkhni Lars border crossing, Ga. This Sunday the gigantic traffic jams of previous days have not yet formed, but the trickle of vehicles and people arriving from Russia has been constant since last Wednesday the president of Russia, Vladimir Putin, decreed the order for the partial mobilization of 300,000 reservists.
“If we consider the large number of people trying to cross, we could say that’s why,” Sasha, a young Russian who has crossed the Georgian border, admits to TVE. He says that he has come because he had been wanting to see Georgia for a long time, but he admits that he does not know when he will return.
Many of the Russian youth and men of fighting age who cross this border crossing privately acknowledge that they do it not to be enlisted. But in front of the cameras they are more cautious, they fear reprisals when they return to their country.
And that is why some do not want to show their face where you are and prefer to remain anonymous. “We don’t want to go to war, we don’t want to participate in this,” says Serguei, who assures that it has taken 24 hours to cross despite the fact that he has bought a bicycle to skip the long queue of vehicles trying to leave Russia.
He believes that the draft order can come at any moment and that there are many young people from remote regions who don’t even know that if it comes they won’t be able to leave anymore and will be sent to fight in Ukraine.
Queues also at the border with Finland
In Siberia, a women’s protest against the mobilization ordered by Putin has ended with several detainees. Meanwhile, throughout Russia, discomfort is growing at this call-up, which is beginning to worry even some authorities.
The president of the Russian Senate has called on the regional authorities, who decide who is called up, to avoid arbitrariness. And the head of one of the main Russian propaganda outlets, ‘RT’, has expressed her displeasure at the errors in the call-ups.
But not joining the army will mean facing even higher sentences after President Putin on Saturday signed the increased penalties for desertion.
For this reason, and as in Georgia, border crossings in other parts of the country are saturated.. In Finland they have continued to register a lot of traffic throughout the weekend and the border guard has reported that in Vaalimaa, the busiest, the queue of cars around 8 in the morning local time was half a kilometer long.
Through the southeast of the border, near the Russian city of Saint Petersburg, 7,662 Russian citizens entered on Saturday, 65% more than a week ago, the institution announced.
In total, 8,572 Russians arrived in Finland, almost a thousand more than the previous day, although Saturdays are usually the busiest day of the week, as many people cross the border to make purchases, as evidenced by the fact that that 4,199 Russians went out again on the same day.
“It was a busy day, but not as busy as expected based on Friday’s figures,” Matti Pikäniitty, head of the Finnish border guard’s international unit, wrote on Twitter.