Putin’s dismal war in Ukraine had already taken its toll on Russian morale earlier this month when Russians began to leave the country in greater numbers than usual. Fast forward to this week, and Putin has grown desperate for replacement troops, months after half of his initial supply had lost their lives after being dropped into Ukraine without being told what to do. In the aftermath, we’ve heard about how Russians are grievously injuring themselves in order to escape the battlefield, and that’s led to Putin recruiting from hellhole prisons, which only lasted so long. During an erratic Wednesday speech, Putin announced the call up of 300,000 reservists, who surely are not prepared for this conflict. A mass exodus began out of Russia, and of course, not everyone can get out at once or has the resources to do so.
As a result, “how to break an arm at home” fired up on Russian Google searches. It’s awful. And in order to flee what’s essentially a death sentence, Russians hit the airports (where prices surged as flights filled up) and the streets, where massive traffic jams went down at border checkpoints. Protesters took to the streets in major Russian cities.
WATCH: Large protests in Russia against Putin’s attempt to call up 300,000 more soldiers for his failing invasion of Ukraine.
They’re chanting “no to war.”
— Tristan Snell (@TristanSnell) September 21, 2022
This didn’t go over well with the Kremlin, and Putin’s regime swiftly arrested over 1,300 people, including about 500 in Moscow as well as St. Petersburg. Via CNBC:
Around 1,307 people were reportedly detained in 39 cities across the country as of Thursday morning, with the largest numbers arrested in the capital city of Moscow (at least 527) and St. Petersburg (at least 480).
Nearly 50 people were arrested in the country’s fourth-largest city of Yekaterinburg, while dozens were also detained in several Siberian cities.
Putin might not be able to “arrest all of Russia,” but he’s doing his best.
Putin can not arrest all of Russia. https://t.co/TRJgjLjhCH
— Badd Company (@BaddCompani) September 21, 2022
Here’s a look at a nightmarish traffic jam following Putin’s speech. There are no words for how awful this situation is for both the Ukrainian and Russian people.
Thousands of vehicles have pilled up at the Russian-Georgian border checkpoint in Verkhnii Lars as Russian citizens are trying to flee the country. pic.twitter.com/QDweH0Kpgv
— CaucasusWarReport (@Caucasuswar) September 21, 2022