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‘I’ll go anywhere but Russia’: Russian fugitives arrive in Georgia

Russians who left their country after Vladimir Putin’s decision to call up more reservists spoke to Euronews upon their arrival in Georgia.

Putin’s announcement saw flight prices soar on routes to Belgrade and Istanbul, among the few European destinations open amid sanctions.

“I will try to find a job in Georgia,” Alexander, a Russian who arrived at Tbilisi airport, told Euronews Georgia.

“So we’ll see […] I will go anywhere except Russia.

“Everything I worked so hard for in Moscow for 30 years was in vain – my education, my job, my private life.

“I came here empty-handed.

Although there are no direct flights between Russia and Georgia, Russians have traveled to the former Soviet republic indirectly via countries such as Turkey, Azerbaijan and Armenia.

At the Russian-Georgian land border, traffic intensified overnight from Wednesday to Thursday, van, a Russian driver, told Reuters.

“Yesterday before midnight you could cross the border much faster,” he said. “After midnight, either a lot of cars arrived or the border guards started working more slowly.”

The majority who crossed the border did not want to speak in front of the camera.

“There is a queue of about 10 kilometers,” a man told Euronews Georgia. “Today I came here early in the morning and managed to get in.

Another man said: “Today I spoke with my friend. He is in Krasnodar (a city in southern Russia). He said there are no men on the streets . He said it was strange because there was no traffic, no cars… they all disappeared.”

Tbilisi abolished visa requirements for Russians in 2012, but Moscow has had no diplomatic relations with Georgia since the 2008 war.

euronews Gt

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