Putin’s bets result in turmoil and an increase in the risk of conflict: As Hurricane Ian destroys Cuba’s electricity, two million Floridians are instructed to leave.
The exiled Russian tycoon and activist Mikhail Khodorkovsky wrote on Twitter that “Russia is most likely the first and only country in the world where citizens fled not because someone invaded their country, but because they invaded another country.” Of course, that isn’t entirely accurate. In an effort to avoid being drafted into the Vietnam War, over 40,000 American dissidents crossed into Canada fifty years ago.
However, their flight took occurred over a ten-year period. In less than a week since President Vladimir Putin ordered a partial mobilization to support a waning war effort in Ukraine, unprecedented events have taken place in Russia. The Kremlin wanted to mobilize an additional 300,000 reservists when the mobilization was announced last week. Now, possibly even that many Russian males of combat age have left the nation in an effort to escape enrolling.
They have boarded planes to Turkey, swum through rivers, and sat for days at border gates that are congested with traffic.
Since September 21 there have been 98,000 arrivals from Russia in Kazakhstan alone. According to Georgian officials, 10,000 Russians cross the border every day. Additionally, thousands are coming to Mongolia. There are numerous films on social media that allude to the widespread disorder and bewilderment in Russia. There are instances of citizens turning on military recruiters in moments of protest, particularly in underdeveloped, ethnically diverse communities.
There are also instances of helplessness and inefficiency: An elder officer gives advice to newly mobilized recruits in one video, telling them to gather their own tourniquets, sleeping bags, and tampons to use as makeshift bandages. Another shows a Russian man breaking a friend’s leg on purpose to keep him out of the conflict. It is obvious that the mobilization has been handled unevenly and haphazardly. Men who did not meet the Kremlin’s stated requirements, such as the elderly, those who were medically unfit, and many more who lacked even the most basic military experience, received enrollment notifications from local administrations.
The Institute for the Study of War, a Washington-based research tank, reported protests against the call-ups in at least 35 Russian localities on Sunday and at least 10 settlements on Monday in their most recent bulletin on the Russia-Ukraine war. Since Wednesday due to these protests, more than 2,300 Russians have been detained. There have been speculations that Russia may seal its borders in order to stop the flight of these guys due to the speed and scope of the exodus, which understandably caused additional people to drop everything and attempt to flee.