‘How to leave Russia’ is now the top searched Google query in Russia. The country’s citizens, which is currently under the world’s no-no list for its President’s war against Ukraine, are also looking up “how to break an arm at home”. All because of one speech made by President Vladimir Putin.
The President has earlier warned the West that he would go to any extent, even use nuclear weapons to protect Russia. On Wednesday, he made a rivetting speech about ‘mobilisation’ in the country.
What is mobilisation?
Military mobilisation is when a nation readies its troops for war. The last time Russia ordered a general mobilisation, was during World War II, anyone 19 years old was obliged to join the Soviet Army.
Now, a partial mobilisation was called in the country. This means that only a certain percentage of Russia’s potential fighters will be asked to join the offensive on Ukraine.
The total number of reservists to be called up could be as high as 300,000, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said. However, Putin’s decree authorizing the partial mobilization, which took effect immediately, offered few details, raising suspicions that the draft could be broadened at any moment.
Men under 35 were reportedly handed written notices in their offices or at their homes, several media reports said.
Flights sold out, borders full
While reserves seem to have no other choice but to stay back and serve the war, their families have been looking for ways to run out of the country. Russia has been amid strict action from the West, blacklisting citizens and Visas of Russians in major countries. However, some countries still accept Russian visas.
This seems like a ticket out of the country now.
Plane tickets to places like Istanbul and Yerevan, which are in Turkey and Armenia, respectively, have sold out. Turkey and Armenia are some of the few countries that allow Russians to enter without having a visa, reported Insider.
Borders to Finland and Mongolia have seen long lines of traffic jams.
In calling for the mobilization, Putin cited the front line length, which he said exceeds 1,000 kilometres (more than 620 miles). He also said Russia is effectively fighting the combined military might of Western countries.
Ukraine mocks Russia
After the news of the google searches, Ukraine took an opportunity to mock Russians.
“Russians are now actively Googling how to avoid mobilization and stay alive,” read the tweet by Defense of Ukraine on Thursday, “They would have been better off Googling instructions for making Molotov cocktails when there was still time.”
The war-hit country’s jibe comes about homemade ‘petrol bombs’ that were used in Ukraine at the beginning of the war.
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