Protest, flight from the country…. The partial mobilization announced Wednesday by Vladimir Putin is not going without a hitch. But according to the Russian general staff, more than 10,000 people have already volunteered.
On social networks, we see videos of lines of men in front of recruitment offices. On some, they are disciplined, but recruiting officers also report difficulties in convince men to enlist. One of them tried to motivate the conscripts by telling them that going to fight would improve their future, to which he was told: ” You talk to us about the future when we don’t already have a present “.
There are also images of mothers who oppose the officers by telling them that they will not take their son, or else ” goodbye daddy » heartbreaking launched by children to their mobilized father. Some lawyers have also denounced the fact that some arrested demonstrators were given a summons while they were at the police station.
► To read also: Russia: many arrests during demonstrations against the mobilization
For their part, the Russian authorities are tempered. Vladimir Tsimlianski, a spokesman for the general staff, assured the Interfax agency that ” during the first day of partial mobilization, about 10,000 citizens arrived on their own at military police stations, without waiting for their summons “.
On social networks, images of men wishing to leave Russia are multiplying. Images of endless queues of cars at the border with Kazakhstan, Mongolia or Armenia are published. The same applies to airport halls taken over by an essentially male population.
At the Finnish border, the number of crossings clearly increased Matti Pitkaniitty, head of international affairs for the border guards, told Reuters, adding that the situation was under control. On the internet, the phrases how to break an arm ” and ” leave Russia » have both known, since the announcement, an explosion of online searches.
Anatoly*, a Russian reserve officer, opted for the Finland. Right from Putin’s speech, he took a few things and ” spun out of Moscow “. At the border, ” the atmosphere was slightly tense, people were in shock, wondering what to do. Hotel rooms on the internet were disappearing any second and as soon as I got the 2nd stamp on my passport I grabbed my phone to book one “, he testifies.
Mikhail* also fled when his friend warned him after Vladimir Putin’s speech. ” When it got real, it was a shock he says.
“The first thing we did with my wife was to prepare an authorization to leave the territory so that she could leave the country with the children in the direction of Europe. Thank goodness everyone has Schengen visas. We may have to think about moving abroad. As I left, I had the feeling, looking at my wife and daughter, that there was a fair chance I wouldn’t see them again for a long time. From now on, we know that the situation has slipped and that everything is going to go wrong. »
A young Russian who fled the mobilization
Serbia, the only capital in Europe to accept flights from Russia, has also become a land of welcome for some.
► To read also: After the announcement of the “partial mobilization”, Russians choose to leave for Serbia
Germany offers political asylum
For its part, Germany announced today that it was ready to grant political asylum to deserters from the Russian army “ threatened with serious repression “. In recent months, Berlin has already welcomed more than 400 opponents to the Kremlin, reports our correspondent in Berlin, Pascal Thibault. ” Anyone who courageously opposes Putin and thus puts himself in great danger can apply for political asylum in Germany “, confirmed the Minister of the Interior, Nancy Faeser, during an interview. A position followed by the Minister of Justice Marco Buschmann. He wrote on Twitter: ” Those who hate the path chosen by Putin and who defend liberal democracy are welcome in Germany “.
Obtaining asylum, on the other hand, is not automatic. Each case will give rise to an individual procedure and security checks, recalls the Ministry of the Interior. The NGOs are asking the authorities not to be too finicky by requiring, for example, proof of enlistment in the Russian army.
And as the filing of an asylum application remains complicated for these people due, in particular, to the difficulties of access to the European Union, the association Pro Asyl proposes that humanitarian visas be offered to Russians who have been able to win other countries like Georgia or Turkey. Such a request already has a good chance of being successful in Germany, but few resort to it, fearing later that they will not be able to return to their country.
*Names have been changed