Russia: “to flee is to survive” | War in Ukraine

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Russia: “ ;s’to flee is to survive” | War in Ukraine

Chaos at Russian borders escalates as thousands of men are trying to get out of the country to avoid being drawn into Vladimir Putin's war.

A young man, who cannot be named for security reasons, on his way to Georgia .

GEORGIA – Alexander has been planning his departure for months. If it hadn't been for the money, he would have left Russia long ago. But the young man of Tatar origin had to save enough to make the trip and settle abroad.

Here he is today on the good side of the #x27;History, safe and sound in Georgia.

“It is impossible to stay and fight against the Vladimir regime. If you dare to say anything negative, you immediately end up in prison.

—Alexander

Since Vladimir Putin announced a partial mobilization and despite tougher penalties for deserters, thousands of Russian men continue to flee their country to escape conscription. Crossing points with Finland, Kazakhstan, Mongolia and Georgia are literally stormed. These men of fighting age simply don't want to get involved in a war that is beyond them. Here is what Tamara Alteresco has prepared.

He claims to have sold or given away all his possessions to get here. He is one of many others whom Radio-Canada was able to speak to, at the foot of the mountains of North Ossetia, at the only open border crossing between Russia and Georgia.

Some people get bicycles to cross Georgia faster.

The passage has been stormed since Vladimir Putin announced the partial mobilization of 300,000 reservists. It was September 21.

Since then, more than 250,000 men are said to have gone into exile in countries where Russians can still enter without a visa, such as Georgia, Kazakhstan, Armenia and Turkey.

The line of vehicles is so long to pass customs that the authorities of Georgia have exceptionally authorized crossings on foot.

I immediately understood that it was not a partial mobilization, says Roman. The father of the family has already been living in Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, for a month. If he went to the border this morning, it's because he's waiting for his two sons there.

They're somewhere walk and hopefully in an hour or two I'll find them,' he said anxiously, watching the tide of vehicles waiting to cross.

Everything changed very quickly because of what is going on in the head of one man, and I decided that my sons were going to live in peace and not in war, says Roman.

His eldest is 22 years old, the second will be 18 in a few weeks and since he is no longer studying, he will be called up, that's for sure.

The worst thing is that he always wanted to be a soldier. But this war is completely senseless, completely senseless, says this father.

“To flee is to survive, you understand…”

—Roman, who came to pick up his sons at the border

The line is so long to clear customs that the authorities of Georgia have exceptionally authorized crossings on foot. One after the other, they arrive, exhausted, bags on their backs. They will have taken 20 to 48 hours to reach their destination before it is too late for the authorities to order the crossing closed.

This family took with them everything they could in order to start their life over in Georgia , fleeing Vladimir Putin's Russia.

Rumors of an imminent Russian border closure have been circulating more and more, although the Kremlin has been denying them for a week. That's it, Alexey and Misha just walked past.

When we left Russia, the authorities were already preventing people from leaving, says one of them. them. They say they paid a bribe to the local police to get out of the city of Orel.

They are convinced that they would have been summoned within a few days. We both served in the military, but going to war is completely different. This war is totally unjustified and we refuse to go there, says one of the sons.

Alexey, another young man with whom Radio-Canada has maintained, says it's a race against time for those who want to escape mobilization. He is a computer specialist, but he does not want to take the risk of being dragged to the front.

“It's now a critical moment. Everyone decided to run away. »

— Alexey, who fled Russia

The young Russian is aware of the judgments against him. Why didn't he leave earlier if he opposes the war?

This is my second trip to Georgia since the war broke out in February, he explains. he. I returned to Moscow to see my family, but when the mobilization was announced, I decided to leave.

His employer agrees to him working from Tbilisi. The rest will be written day by day, the important thing being that it was able to be released in time.

A newly conscripted young man outside a recruiting office in the Siberian town of Tara, in the Omsk region, Russia.

Difficult to predict how long Russia will allow its nationals out.

Already, several sources, including young men we spoke to, claim that Russia has deployed personnel armed and at least two armored vehicles at the crossing point with Georgia in order to spot reservists trying to evade orders. A kind of mobile recruiting office, said one.

But that's it, a few hours later, Roman is breathing easier when he sees his two sons.

He can finally hug them. Kiss them. Thank God, he said simply.

Roman reunited with his 22 and 17 year old sons in Georgia. They crossed the crossing on foot in order to escape Vladimir Putin's compulsory mobilization.

But for every man who flees, another complies with Vladimir Putin's orders.

From Omsk, Siberia, to Rostov-on-Don, in the west of the country, Russian reservists leave for Ukraine. We bless them, we mourn them.

Pray that he comes back alive, said the wife of a reservist, crying before seeing him board a bus.

Relatives and acquaintances of Russian reservists mourn the departure of their relatives in the city of Volzhsky, in the Volgograd region, Russia, following the partial mobilization ordered by Vladimir Putin.

It is often in the poorest regions of Russia that the mobilization is strongest, but not without opposition.

In Dagestan, the capital Makhachkala was the scene of intense demonstrations, which were immediately repressed.

Several offices of Ministry of Defense enlistment were also allegedly attacked across the country. But for Roman, who is about to get in the car with his sons, it is too late to challenge Vladimir Putin's regime.

Year after year, the Russians have given in , little by little, step by step, without opposing the Putin regime as they should have done. Here we are 20 years later wondering, my God, what is happening to us? There is nothing more we can do about it, he says, his voice sad.

He would rather save his sons than see them languish in prison or, even worse, see them die in prison. vain, at the front.

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