Men flee Russia, fearing draft

Men flee Russia, fearing draft

| Friday 23 September 2022


One day after President Vladimir Putin announced a plan to bring 300,000 civilians into military service, thousands of Russians received draft papers and boarded buses to training sites. Many others left the country in a rush, paying rising prices to catch flights to Armenia, Georgia, Montenegro and Turkey, some of the countries that allow Russians to enter without visas.
Russian officials said the call-up would be limited to people with combat experience. But one journalist said her husband, a father of five with no military experience, had been summoned.
Our reporter spoke to a 23-year-old who bought a plane ticket to Istanbul, wrapped up his business and kissed his crying mother goodbye — all within about 12 hours of Putin’s announcement. He said he has no idea when he will return. “I was sitting and thinking about what I could die for, and I didn’t see any reason to die for the country,” he said. Here are live updates.
Reaction: The E.U. is scrambling to decide how to respond. Countries are weighing security concerns against their desire to help those fleeing an unjust war.
Surveillance: The Times obtained nearly 160,000 files from Russia’s powerful internet regulator, which the government uses to find opponents and squash dissent. Compared with China, much of the work of Russian censors is done manually, but what Moscow lacks in sophistication, it has made up for in determination.

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