Russian Mobilization, Ukraine War: A Heartbreaking Photo of Reservists Saying Goodbye

Heartbreaking photos were taken of friends and relatives saying goodbye to Russian reservists recruited during the Russian government’s partial mobilization to strengthen Ukraine’s armed forces.

Georgia and Kazakhstan said on Tuesday that tens of thousands of Russians from neighboring Russia had flooded into their countries since the announcement.

Russian President Vladimir Putin last week announced the call-up of thousands of reservists, sparking protests across the country and a flood of Russian men seeking the border.

Fyodor, who, like others AFP spoke to, asked not to reveal his full name, said he was horrified by reports that even the disabled and even the elderly were taking part in the fighting, and that Russia and Kazakhstan were threatening to take part in the fighting. He said he fled to the border.

“There is complete confusion [in Russia]said the 24-year-old. “I don’t know what will happen.”

He decided to leave for Kazakhstan on Saturday morning “as a precaution” to get a head start “just in case.”

Kazakhstan on Tuesday said about 98,000 Russians had entered the country since the mobilization was announced.

It took Fyodor about 48 hours to reach the city of Oral in northern Kazakhstan, including a 5km walk to the border and a 6-hour queue.

“It was raining and cold, but we had to wait six hours…it was reasonable given the circumstances,” he said.

Vladislav, a 25-year-old bartender, found refuge in Kazakhstan’s capital Astana on Monday night.

In Russia, “I might go to work or buy groceries and never come back. I don’t want to die.

“A week ago, I couldn’t imagine myself in Kazakhstan,” he told AFP, adding, “I would like to thank the Kazakh people for welcoming him so hospitably.”

‘Desperate situation’

Kazakhstan’s President Qasim Jomart Tokayev said on Tuesday that Kazakhstan will ensure the safety of Russians fleeing a “desperate situation”.

“This is a political and humanitarian issue,” Tokayev added. “The territorial integrity of a nation must be unshakable.”

Kazakhstan condemned Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and called for respect for territorial integrity as Russia held referendums on annexation of four regions of Ukraine.

“There is a massive war going on very close to us.

Russians also flocked to the Black Sea country of Georgia.

On Tuesday, Georgia said the number of Russians arriving each day had nearly doubled since the draft was announced.

“4-5 days ago 5000-6000 [Russians] I was arriving in Georgia every day. The number he has increased to about 10,000 a day,” Interior Minister Vakhtan Gomerauri told journalists.

Georgia and neighboring Armenia, which do not require visas for Russians, have been a destination for Russians since the civil war began on February 24.

During the first four months of the war, about 50,000 Russians fled to Georgia and another 40,000 to Armenia.

On Tuesday, the regional interior ministry for the Russian region bordering Georgia called the situation “very tense” and said there were about 5,500 car tailbacks waiting to cross the Georgia border. .

The ministry added that a mobile draft office would be set up at the border “in the near future.”

Winning a “Fake” Vote

Kremlin-installed authorities in four regions of Russia-controlled Ukraine claimed victory in an annexation vote on Tuesday and warned that Russia could use nuclear weapons to defend its territory, leading to global provoked anger.

Ukraine and its allies have denounced the so-called referendum as a hoax, saying the West will never recognize the outcome of the vote, which dramatically raised the stakes of Russia’s seven-month invasion.

Pro-Russian officials in Zaporizhia said preliminary results on Tuesday night showed 93.11 percent of voters supported joining Russia.

In Kherson, another Moscow-occupied region in southern Ukraine, more than 87.05% of electors supported the move after all votes were tallied, officials said.

In the pro-Russian separatist-controlled eastern Lugansk region, more than 98.42 percent voted in favor of annexation, local officials said.

Officials in the Moscow-controlled Donetsk region also claimed victory, with a local pollster saying 99.23% of the vote was in favor of annexation.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a teleconference with officials that “saving people in the region where this referendum is taking place … is the focus of our entire society and our country.” said.

His spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said the vote would have “fundamental” legal implications and that the so-called referendum “will also have security implications” and that Moscow will use nuclear weapons to defend its territory. mentioned the threat of

“I have nothing to say”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Tuesday rejected the referendum as a “farce”, pledging that Kyiv would protect its citizens in Moscow-controlled areas. And he said the vote means Kyiv will not negotiate with Moscow.

“I have nothing to say [the] The current president of Russia,” Zelensky said.

Russian forces have suffered a severe setback in eastern and southern Ukraine this month, with observers saying Putin has urged votes to strengthen Russia’s powers.

Putin said Russia would use all available means to defend its territory, suggesting that after annexation Russia could deploy strategic nuclear weapons to fend off Ukraine’s attempts to retake the territory. did.

“I want to remind you – deaf people who can only hear their own ears: Russia has the right to use nuclear weapons if necessary…

Pentagon spokesman Brigadier General Patrick Ryder said the United States takes the repeated threats “seriously” but sees nothing that would cause Washington to change its nuclear stance.

“Russia must know that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought,” said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

Four Russian-occupied regions of Ukraine announced they would hold elections days before polls began last Friday.

Together they form an important land route for the Kremlin between Russia and the Crimea. Crimea was annexed by Moscow in her 2014 and is otherwise connected to the mainland only by bridges.

US denounces ‘diabolical plan’

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken has vowed never to allow the West to annex Russia’s territories, threatening Moscow with “additional quick and serious costs” for its “diabolical plan.”

French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna made a surprise visit to Kyiv to meet Mr Zelensky, calling the poll a “masquerade” that would trigger further Western sanctions.

At the United Nations, top official Rosemary DiCarlo told a Security Council meeting that the agency “remains fully committed” to Ukraine’s territorial integrity “within its internationally recognized borders.”

The Security Council, which Russia holds a veto on, is unlikely to reach a unified position on the annexation move.

Nevertheless, the US intends to submit a resolution urging member states to “not recognize any altered status of Ukraine and oblige Russia to withdraw its troops from Ukraine,” Linda Thomas Green said. US Special Envoy Field said.

Beijing, Russia’s closest major ally since invading Ukraine, has yet to publicly condemn the attack, but told the Security Council on Tuesday that “the territorial integrity of all states should be respected.” Told.

The so-called referendum follows the pattern Moscow utilized in Crimea after nationwide street demonstrations that saw a friendly president ousted by the Kremlin in Ukraine.

As in Crimea, observers saw this result as a foregone conclusion.

Election officials went door-to-door at ballot boxes, often accompanied by Russian troops.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian forces continue to counterattack in the east.

The governor of the eastern Kharkiv region announced on Tuesday that its troops had recaptured Kupiansk Buzlovy, “one of the largest logistical and railroad junctions” in the region, which was not involved in this week’s vote.

In Crimea, polling stations were opened for those fleeing the fighting after the Russian army invaded in February.

“With my voice, I want to do something to stop the war,” Galina Korsakova, 63, from Donetsk, told AFP.

“I really want to go home.”

first published as A heartbreaking picture of Russian mobilization

Russian Mobilization, Ukraine War: A Heartbreaking Photo of Reservists Saying Goodbye

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