Russia installs conscript center at Georgian border amid Ukraine draft orders

Moscow, Sep 28 (EFE).- Russia has set up a conscript center on the Georgian border and has begun to issue draft orders to men who fall under its list to fight in Ukraine amid partial mobilization, Russian news agency TASS informed on Wednesday.  

The center that was installed at the Verkhny Lars crossing, the only one between the two countries, is not authorized to prohibit the departure of those fleeing military conscription, a source reported to TASS.  

Georgian Minister of Internal Affairs Vajtang Gomelauri said there are about 4,960 vehicles waiting at the border to cross and nearly 10,000 people are crossing to get out of Russia every day —between 40 and 45% more than last year. 

Displacements to the European Union have also seen an increase since Putin announced the partial mobilization measure last week, with the European border agency Frontex reporting 66,000 crossings.

Russian men with their luggage walk along a road after passing through customs at the Georgia-Russia border checkpoint of Verkhnii Lars, Georgia, 27 September 2022.  EFE/EPA/ZURAB KURTSIKIDZE

Most of those leaving Russia are doing so through Finnish and Estonian border crossing points. 

Illegal border crossings are expected to grow if the Kremlin decides to close the border to prevent the flight of conscripts but Frontex reports that until now, the majority of Russians entering the EU hold residence permits or have dual citizenships. 

Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia have already announced restrictions on the entry of Russian citizens and Finland is expected to follow. 

A handout satellite image made available by Maxar Technologies shows a traffic jam near Russia’s border with Georgia, 27 September 2022. FE/EPA/MAXAR TECHNOLOGIES HANDOUT

The Russian defense ministry announced Wednesday the official start of training for reservists subject to conscription. 

Servicemen in the region of Rostov, located on the Ukrainian border, and the Russian-annexed Crimea peninsula have been “provided with the necessary clothing, received weapons and started firing training” the ministry said on its Telegram channel. 

“Mobilized citizens are to commence shooting, tactical and special training,” 

According to the Ministry, conscripted citizens arriving at the regional military commissariat in the Belgorod region “are usually 30-year-old men. All of them have passed the military service.” EFE

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