Russia sends troops and AFVs to Georgian border amid military mobilization-related exodus

Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB), the main successor agency to the Soviet Union’s KGB, on Monday deployed heavily armed soldiers and an armored personnel carrier at the border crossing in North Ossetia – between Russia and Georgia – to intercept Russians fleeing President Vladimir Putin. partial mobilization.

Hundreds of thousands of reservists, who would be sent to fight the war in Ukraine, tried to cross the borders of the neighboring country to take refuge. As the scenes of utter chaos and panic unfolded, long lines of cars with arrears were stuck amid traffic jams at Russia’s border crossings with Georgia, Kazakhstan and Mongolia.

A chilling exodus ensued on land and at Moscow airports as hundreds of thousands tried to escape the former Soviet Union‘s first biggest mobilization since World War II. Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) sent its officers to the border checkpoint with Georgia, as most male citizens of military age escaped conscription. Traffic jams stretched for several kilometers – estimated at 8-10 km – at the Russian border with mainly three queues waiting to enter Georgia and Finland. The Russians waited more than 30 hours in the motorcade due to a roadblock at the Upper Lars customs post and near the Russian FSB military checkpoint.

“The armored personnel carrier is moving there, but it’s not to stop those who are traveling to a checkpoint, it’s, basically, to prevent reservists from crossing the checkpoint and leave the country without completing any border formalities,” the FSB said in a statement. statement.

Credit: Twitter/@GSelkers

Russians trying to cross the Georgian border?

The FSB border department in the Russian republic of North Ossetia-Alania said strict measures had been taken against Russian citizens who tried to cross the Georgian border with the aim of evacuating Russia and entering illegally. in another country, Moscow news outlet RBC confirmed. The FSB has deployed hundreds of soldiers to ensure that reservists “do not leave the country without completing border formalities”, the intelligence services revealed.

“The [border crossing] operates as usual, no restrictions on the exit of male citizens of service age have been introduced,” the FSB source told RBC.

The Kremlin had previously hinted at the possibility of introducing martial law and banning Russian men of military age and eligible for war from leaving the country. Footage circulating shows at least six soldiers in an armored vehicle heading near the long line of cars near the Russia-Georgia border crossing. The traffic jam stretched up to ten miles, according to a search on Russian online search engine Yandex.

Credit: Twitter/@301military

The Kremlin may also consider introducing a legal procedure for men of military age to obtain international travel visas that would require them to seek government permission before leaving the country after referendums in Ukraine’s four occupied regions. of Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia is over, Kremlin sources told the Russian agency Meduza.

“Anyone who is of conscription age should be banned from traveling abroad in the current situation,” Russian Federation Council member Sergei Tsekov told the Russian Duma, according to the news agency. RIA.

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