Russia: Protests, arrests & sold-out flights as mobilisation begins

Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a partial mobilisation of reservists to bolster his forces in Ukraine, an unpopular move that sparked rare protests across the country and led to some 1,300 arrests.

The risky order follows setbacks for Putin’s troops nearly seven months after they invaded Ukraine. The first such call-up in Russia since World War II heightened tensions with Ukraine’s Western backers, who derided it as an act of weakness and desperation.

And the EU Commission says many people are now trying to leave Russia.
Almost all flights out of Moscow appear to be fully booked – and traffic has surged at land borders.

But the Kremlin says reports of a mass exodus are exaggerated.

Al Jazeera’s Bernard Smith reports.

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