Following Russian President Vladimir Putin’s address on Wednesday in which he was expected to announce “martial law" and “mobilisation," men in the country were thrown into chaos as they were summoned to duty.
Soon, Google search trends in the country revealed a spike in questions such as “how to leave" the country and “how to break an arm at home", showing an increasing demand to evade Putin's military call.
The Russian President has ordered country’s first mobilisation since World War II, warning the West he was not bluffing when he said he’d be ready to use nuclear weapons to defend the nation.
The decision, Putin said, was taken “to defend the motherland, its sovereignty and territorial integrity”.
“We are talking about partial mobilisation, that is, only citizens who are currently in the reserve will be subject to conscription, and above all, those who served in the armed forces have a certain military specialty and relevant experience,” Vladimir Putin stressed. He added that it was necessary for Russia to take urgent decision to protect people in the “liberated lands”.
The announcement, however, forced Russians in major cities to flee to the borders yet again with many taking flights to the few visa-free destinations still open to Russian passport holders
Those who missed out on tickets flocked to land borders with Finland and Mongolia, forming long traffic jams at the checkpoints.
Meanwhile, Spring youth democratic movement (a Russian liberal democratic youth movement) called for renewed demonstrations against mobilisation in Moscow, St Petersburg and other Russian cities.
“Vladimir Putin has just announced a partial mobilisation in Russia. This means that thousands of Russian men – our fathers, brothers and husbands – will be thrown into the meat grinder of war,” Spring wrote on their Instagram page, Al Jazeera reported.
“Now war will truly come to every home and every family. The authorities used to say that only ‘professionals’ were fighting and that they would win. It turned out that they were not winning – and prisoners began to be recruited to the front. The war is no longer ‘out there’ – it has come to our country, our homes, for our relatives."Read more: Russia not serious about ending Ukraine war: Volodymyr Zelensky