Russians flee the country after Putin announces ‘partial mobilization’

NEW YORK – At a meeting of the United Nations Security Council on Thursday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said “the international order that we have gathered here to defend is being shredded before our eyes. by Russia’s war against Ukraine. The world “can’t let President Vladimir Putin get away with this,” Blinken told fellow diplomats. His remarks came amid a week of escalating actions by Moscow, including mobilizing tens of thousands of troops and planning ‘fake referendums’ in Russian-occupied parts of Ukraine. .

“The fact that President Putin has chosen this week, when most of the world gathers at the United Nations, to add fuel to the fire he has lit shows his utter contempt and contempt for the Charter of United Nations, the UN General Assembly and this Council,” Blinken said. .

“President Putin is making his choice. Now it is up to all our countries to make ours. Tell President Putin to stop the horror he started,” Blinken continued. “Tell him to stop putting his interests above the interests of the rest of the world, including his own people. Tell him to stop denigrating this Council and everything it stands for.

Blinken said the Russian-occupied regions of Ukraine offered a view into this “less peaceful world”, noting that “wherever the Russian tide recedes, we have discovered the horror that remains in its wake”, Bucha , Irpin, Izyum, where mass graves were discovered, survivors recounted acts of torture.

The top US diplomat called on Russia to end its nuclear saber, calling Putin’s threat to use “every weapon system available” to Russia “all the more threatening given Russia’s intention to annexing large swaths of Ukraine in the coming days”. Blinken also highlighted the impact of the war on food security globally and denounced Russian misinformation about the effectiveness of WHO-approved vaccines.

A social media video of Russia’s land borders with several countries shows long lines of vehicles attempting to leave the country the day after President Vladimir Putin announced a “partial mobilization”. There were queues at border crossings to Kazakhstan, Georgia and Mongolia. Video showed dozens of vehicles queuing at the Zemo Larsi/Verkhny Lars checkpoint on the Georgian-Russian border overnight Wednesday. This line appears to have lengthened on Thursday. Video showed a long queue stretching into the mountains behind the crossing, with a man commenting that it was five to six kilometers long.

Another post on Thursday showed long queues at the Khaykhta crossing point into Mongolia.

A man spoke on recorded video at the Troitsk crossing into Kazakhstan, where dozens of cars were lined up Thursday morning. “It’s Troitsk, lines of trucks and passenger vehicles…you can’t see the beginning or the end of this line…everyone, everyone is fleeing Russia, of all sorts.”

A senior Kazakh official, Maulen Ashimbaev, has said that Kazakhstan cannot restrict the entry of Russian citizens into the country, Russian news agency RIA Novosti reported on Thursday. But Ashimbaev, the speaker of the upper house of the Kazakh parliament, said that in order to obtain a residence permit, applicants must have a set of documents that comply with the law.

It is difficult to compare the current traffic flow to the average in the absence of official data. Flights from Russia to countries that do not require visas continue to be very busy and often full. A search of the Aviasales website showed there were no seats available on economy one-way Moscow-Istanbul flights until Sunday – with the lowest price nearly $2,900.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Thursday dismissed reports of airports packed with people trying to leave Russia after the announcement, calling it “exaggeration” and “fake news”.

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