Vladimir Putin’s “Special Military Operation” Against Ukraine reached a turning point on Wednesday – but not the kind the Kremlin wanted.
Instead, the Russian leader may have unwittingly put the final nail in the coffin of his decades-long reign with the announcement that hundreds of thousands of citizens will be summoned to face death. could happen in the next war.
While Putin’s Most Loyal Allies Gathering around the leader with calls for unity and defense officials stretching behind to provide dubious reassurance to the public, ordinary Russians hurried to find their way out and onto the streets.
Flight tickets to foreign countries sold out in just a few hours. There are countless reports of men of military age being banned from buying bus and plane tickets, and human rights groups report Draft notices have been distributed to people at bus stations and train stops in some areas.
Street cleaning and homeowners associations are said to have been tasked with providing notices in other areas.
Anton, a manager at a Moscow-based IT company, was nervous as he waited in line for passport control at Vnukovo airport on Wednesday morning. He fled to Armenia just hours after the dispatch announcement.
“Unfortunately, this is my fight, although I never asked for it: the victims of this war are my people, I have been helping those who suffer; and the bastards who started this war are my enemies,” he told The Daily Beast after crossing border control.
He was constantly checking a “Border Control” group chat on Telegram, which included about 15,000 middle-class Russian professionals who were planning to flee Moscow following the announcement.
Anton’s friend Alexander Koryakin, 35, a Russian IT worker, also arrived in Armenia earlier on Wednesday. Koryakin said he is now “breathing free and thinking straight” in Yerevan.
“This war, this is definitely not my fight, this conflict has been artificially fanned out, Russia doesn’t need it,” he said, adding a message for others still stuck. in the country: “Run away, nothing good will come of it. Russia for a long time. This is not betrayal, this is your survival.”
Valentina Melnikova, head of the Union of Committees of Russian Soldiers’ Mothers, said the mobilization showed that Putin only wanted to escalate the war.
“Putin mobilizes people today, tomorrow he will use nuclear weapons, our job is to help those who do not want to serve,” she told The Daily Beast.
According to the monitoring website OVD.info, dozens of protesters were detained in Moscow as well as in cities as far away as Ulan Ude, Izhevsk, Irkutsk, Chelyabinsk and Perm, among others, according to the OVD monitoring website. .info. Protests continue to break out across the country despite prosecutors in the capital warning Protesters could face up to 15 years in prison for speaking out against the war.
The outrage has only grown amid reports that some workers have begun receiving ongoing draft notices. According to human rights lawyer Pavel Chikov, medical personnel in Moscow were summoned, who also called BS about the Russian Defense Ministry’s statement that the mobilization would be “partial”.
Insiders reports that doctors and nurses at a private clinic in Moscow have also received draft notices.
The actual text of the decree declares the mobilization of an unlimited number of called-ups and no draft limit on reserve ones, as defense officials claim. The document also contains a “classified” clause that hides the number of people that will be mobilized.
The backlash was swift: “Crazy grandpa is going all in, his bets – are our lives. They promised us to take Kyiv in three days. The Ukrainians lost three hours more than we lost in three months. Now there is a campaign for ‘fresh meat’ to bomb civilian sites, “hackers Written in a statement posted on the homepage of St.Petersburg’s Pulkovo Airport.
“Ukraine won. The question is how badly will we lose,” the statement read.
Protests have also broken out in unexpected places, with customers of a jewelry chain reportedly receiving a message that read: “Today Vladimir Putin announces total mobilization. This means that your husband, children and father can be sent by force to fight in Ukraine at any time. Into the war that Putin has started and he is losing…”
Company, 585 Gold, later blamed hacker messages.
Meanwhile, anger seems to be growing toward Russian lawmakers, who cheer the war but let ordinary citizens do the dirty work.
Dmitry Vyatkin, a lawmaker in Putin’s United Russia party, raised eyebrows with Wednesday’s speech claim it was “easy” to decide to go to the front lines in Ukraine – but said he and other lawmakers were unable to do so because they were too busy explaining the “importance” of the war to everyone.
The family of Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, was also noted for their seemingly untouchable condition during the maneuver.
A reporter of Famous Politics, a news program created by the allies of the imprisoned enemy of the Kremlin Alexei Navalny, call Peskov’s sonNikolai, on a Wednesday broadcast and posing as an army commissar, told him he was being called up for military service under a dispatch order.
“You have to understand, if you know I am Mr. Peskov, I was completely wrong to be there,” Nikolai replied. “Basically, I’m going to decide this on another level.”