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Meet the Russians who fled Putin's call to war

Reuters Videos
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2 個月前

STORY: The protests and the apparent exodus of fighting-age men from Russia, following the call-up of hundreds of thousands of military reservists for the war in Ukraine, is still going.

And in one of the countries where they're fleeing, neighboring Georgia, Reuters met several opposing the order - some who had just arrived and others already here...

... including a family, one among 40,000 Russians that Georgian authorities say have come to their capital alone since the invasion began.

Dmitry Kuriliyunok, a father, Ivan Streltsov, an army reservist, and a man named Maxim, who didn't give his last name:

KURILIYUNOK: "We're completely against this war, and we call it for what it is: it’s not an operation, it’s a war."

"When we found out about the mobilization, we dropped everything at home and jumped in the car."

"Russia is being fragmented and destroyed by corruption, lawlessness, suspension of all rights and freedoms and suppression of views.”

STRELTSOV: " I took part in protests when the military operation started. For us, as citizen activists, things have become very difficult at this moment in our own motherland. We're all being watched.”

"All of this has pulled us back. Pulled us back from growth, from progress, from unity. It's pulled us back, for example, from fighting for ideals like climate change and world hunger. For me, this is a huge tragedy."

MAXIM: "It’s very scary. I worry about my friends. I’m trying to help my friends to get somewhere else, it’s horrible, and I am going to cry now."

The situation here in Georgia for these Russians is somewhat complicated.

The wave of new arrivals in Georgia is threatening to reignite anti-Russian feelings here.

Pro-Ukraine messages are plastered everywhere in the city, and some graffiti even says Russians "go home."

Apartment prices have also skyrocketed in the last six months.

At one point on Sunday (September 25), the wait time at the border to enter Georgia hit 48 hours, according to Russian state media, who cited local officials.

And there are similar scenes playing out in Kazakhstan, Finland, and Mongolia.

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