Scenes from Russia after Putin orders 300,000 more troops to fight in Ukraine

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LONDON — Lines at neighboring borders and protests are just some of the scenes in Russia following President Vladimir Putin’s call for partial military mobilization.

Last week, Putin ordered up to 300,000 Russians to serve in the invasion of Ukraine that began in February. Since then, thousands of citizens have fled the country to bordering nations, including Georgia and Mongolia.

A satellite image shows a long line of hundreds of vehicles on a road.
Vehicles line up to cross the Upper Lars checkpoint on the Russia-Georgia border on Tuesday. (Maxar Technologies via AP)

A satellite image of the Russia-Georgia border taken on Tuesday shows a multitude of cars and people waiting at the crossing. According to Russian state news outlet Tass, more than 5,000 cars had created the traffic jam, which was up to 10 miles long.

The announcement also sparked a rise in the search for flights leaving Russia, sending prices soaring. Flights to destinations such as Turkey, Georgia and Armenia sold out.

People walk and ride bicycles between rows of lined-up vehicles.
People walk and ride bicycles between rows of vehicles at the Verkhny Lars checkpoint in North Ossetia, Russia, on the border with Georgia on Tuesday. (Yelena Afonina/Tass via Zuma Press)

Elsewhere, antiwar protesters clashed with police on a highway in Dagestan — one of Russia’s poorest regions. The demonstrators, mostly women, were chanting “No to war” as officers fired warning shots into the crowd in an attempt to disperse them. It is unknown whether anyone was injured.

In the town of Ust-Ilimsk in Siberia, a draft officer was shot by a man angered by his friend’s conscription, the Guardian reported. A video appears to show the officer being shot at close range. The governor of the region said on Telegram that the officer was in critical condition and that the gunman would “absolutely be punished.”

“Partial mobilization affects everybody,” Michael Kofman, head of Russian studies at the CNA think tank in Washington, D.C., told the Associated Press. “And everybody in Russia understands ... that they could be the next wave, and this is only the first wave.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called on Russians not to submit to the “criminal mobilization” and to “at least try to protect their own lives.”

Several dozen Russian citizens inside a public service center in Kazakhstan.
Russian citizens visit a public service center to receive an individual identification number for foreigners in Almaty, Kazakhstan, on Wednesday. (Pavel Mikheyev/Reuters)
Russian police officers stand guard against protesters
Russian police officers stand guard during a protest after President Vladimir Putin ordered troops to fight in the Ukraine war. (Reuters)
A man carries a duffel bag on his head and others wheel luggage as travelers from Russia cross the border into Georgia.
Travelers from Russia cross the border into Georgia at the Zemo Larsi/Verkhny Lars station on Monday. (Irakli Gedenidze/Reuters)
A man sits on a bench checking his phone as Russian citizens line up outside a public service center in Kazakhstan.
Russian citizens line up outside a public service center in Oral, Kazakhstan, on Tuesday. (Raul Uporov/Reuters)
Long lines of hundreds of vehicles on a road that goes from Russia to Georgia.
Long lines of vehicles on the way to exit Russia at its border with Georgia in Verkhny Lars on Monday. (The Insider/handout via Reuters)
Russian adults and children carry backpacks and wheel luggage as they walk on a road toward Georgia.
Russians attempt to leave their country for Georgia at the Kazbegi border crossing on Tuesday. (Mirian Meladze/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)