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The struggle of Russian exiles in France to repatriate their relatives to avoid mobilization

Thousands of Russian citizens are trying to leave the country to avoid a mobilization that, according to some media, could far exceed the 300,000 men announced by the Kremlin.

Since Vladimir Putin’s speech announcing the partial mobilization of reservists to be sent to the front in Ukraine, the whole country has been shaken. Several protests have broken out across Russia and many people are seeking to leave the country to avoid mobilization. But a problem arises: to go where?

Hosted by BFMTV, Katia arrived in France in June to flee Vladimir Putin’s regime. She came with her son on a humanitarian visa. Her husband stayed in Moscow to continue earning money to support the family. For three days, she has been technically “mobilizable” by the Russian army.

“It’s impossible (for him to go there). We have different possibilities to avoid going to war, like shooting ourselves in the foot or going to jail. So, for nothing in the world would I kill people. Ukrainians, because we also have many friends in Ukraine”, explains Katia into our microphone.

All flights taken

Her husband’s preferred option at the moment is therefore flight. However, leaving Russia is increasingly complicated. All day, Katia tries to find a way. But she, she explains, plane tickets are now the order of the day and, therefore, they are overpriced: between 7 and 10,000 euros to go to Dubai

All flights are full to Armenia, Turkey or Georgia. A similar situation for buses and trains.

“We are going to try to leave on Monday by car. Belarus seems impossible to me, it will be the same as here. We are going to try via Estonia or Latvia. It is unacceptable for me to stay,” explains Katia’s husband by phone.

“I am against making war on a neighboring country, I am against the occupation of Ukraine and the massacre of its inhabitants,” he adds.

divided european countries

For those who manage to leave Russia, the visa issue obviously arises. Germany announced on Thursday that it would offer asylum to Russian defectors. In contrast, Finland and Latvia have closed their borders to them. European countries are at the moment in a scattered order on the issue.

In France, the Foreign Minister made contact. “We are going to discuss it with the European institutions. Of course, we must satisfy the needs of a large majority of the Russian population by allowing them to express their vision of things, to leave Russia and come to us,” he said. he said he on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly.

“We are working in that direction,” he concluded.

“Those who try to leave anyway are arrested by the police”

Katia lives with other exiles, including Yana. The latter has four brothers, aged between 19 and 28, who live in small villages in eastern Siberia. Everyone is mobilized. For this reason, he also hopes that France will welcome them, but she is aware that it will be very difficult for them to leave Russia.

“Young people can’t buy bus tickets, we don’t sell them. And those who try to leave anyway are arrested by the police,” he explains into our microphone.

According to the Russian research site Meduza, 1.2 million Russians could be recruited into the military in the coming weeks.

Author: Nelson Getten with Salome Robles
Source: BFM TV

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