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Queue at Russia-Finland border after Putin’s partial mobilization

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The partial mobilization announced by Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier this week has triggered an exodus of men seeking to avoid the draft.

Thousands fled by car, creating lines of traffic hours or even days long at some borders.Long queues were seen at the Svetogorsk crossing between Russia and Finland early Sunday.

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Others bought up scarce and exorbitantly priced airline tickets out of the country as as rumors swirled about a pending border closure.

Putin and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu have said the mobilization order applies to reservists who recently served or have special skills, but almost every man is considered a reservist until age 65 and Putin's decree kept the door open for a broader call-up.

The Kremlin said its initial aim is to add about 300,000 troops to its forces in Ukraine, struggling with equipment losses, mounting casualties and weakening morale.

The call-up is being accompanied by tougher punishments for Russian soldiers who disobey officers' orders, desert or surrender to the enemy.
Putin signed those measures into law on Saturday.

Read more:

Explainer: What does Putin’s partial mobilization mean for Russia’s military machine?

Traffic on border with Russia increasing, Finland’s border guard says

One-way flights out of Russia sell out after Putin orders call-up of reservists

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