A prominent Russian human rights group says some antiwar protesters arrested this week are being ordered to enlist in the Russian military. More than 1,300 people have been arrested taking part in street protests after President Vladimir Putin announced a partial military mobilization to draft 300,000 new troops to fight in Ukraine. According to the group OVD-Info, authorities threatened one protester with 10 years in jail if he refused to enlist. Meanwhile, thousands of Russian men are attempting to flee the country in order to avoid being drafted. Finland said Thursday it is considering barring most Russians from entering the country after a surge of border crossings. This is one Russian man who made it into Finland, speaking with Reuters.
Reuters reporter: “Are you afraid that you might be drafted with the mobilization in Russia?”
Nikita: “Yes, I am afraid.”
Reuters reporter: “Why are you afraid?”
Nikita: “Because it’s a very — it’s a very big mistake for Russia, for Europe, and of course for Ukraine citizens.”
Reuters reporter: “And how old are you? Are you in the age that you could get drafted? Or” —
Nikita: “Yes, I am 34.”
We’ll go to Moscow after headlines.