Officials say 98,000 Russians enter Kazakhstan after call-up

TALLINN (ESTONIA): About 98,000 Russians passed Kazakhstan in the week since the President Vladimir Putin announced the partial mobilization of combat reserves in Ukraine, Kazakh As men trying to evade the call continued to flee by land and air to neighboring countries, officials said.
Kazakhstan and Georgia, both part of the former Soviet Union, seem to be the most popular destinations for people crossing by car, bike or on foot.
Visa holders for Finland or Norway have also arrived by land. Air tickets to foreign countries were quickly sold out despite the sky-high prices.
The Russian Defense Ministry said only about 300,000 people who participated in combat or performed other military service would be called up, but reports have emerged from different regions of Russia that recruiters have recruited choose men who fall outside that description. That raised fears of a much larger call, sending masses of men of all ages and backgrounds to airports and border crossings.
When announcing the number of Russians crossing the border, Kazakh Interior Minister Marat Akhmetzhanov said authorities would not send back those who evaded wanted warrants, unless they were on the international wanted list for criminal offenses. .
Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev has ordered his government to assist Russians entering his country “because of the current hopeless situation.”
“We have to take care and ensure their safety. This is a political and humanitarian issue. I have tasked the government to take the necessary measures,” Tokayev said, adding that Kazakhstan would talks with Russia about the situation.

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