Young Russians flee to neighboring countries following partial mobilization

Russians walk across the border into Georgia in Verkhny Lars on Tuesday.

A sharp increase in the number of young people leaving Russia since Moscow announced a partial military mobilization on Sept. 21 has prompted concern among neighboring countries.

According to RIA news agencies and other media, Kazakhstan said about 98,000 Russians had entered the country since the order was issued.

About 24,000 people entered Kazakhstan from Russia last year, according to Russia’s Federal State Statistics Service.

Russians, who can enter Kazakhstan without a visa or passport if their stay is for less than a month, have been filling up hotels and rental apartments in border towns on the Kazakh side.

Local residents have even opened up movie theaters to shelter arrivals, some of whom have been unable to secure accommodation and have been forced to sleep in the open.

Kazakhstan President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said Tuesday he would hold talks with Moscow to deal with the sudden influx of Russians.

Authorities in Finland, which borders northern Russia, said Monday that nearly 9,000 people have been entering daily from Russia, triple the usual number of around 3,000.

Finnish authorities said on social media its immigration procedures would be conducted more strictly.

The Yomiuri Shimbun