Witnesses reported hours-long lines at the main airport in Moscow and at land crossings into Kazakhstan and Georgia as reports spread that those subject to the call-up may be banned from leaving as soon as this week.
Putin late Saturday decreed a deferral for some students at state vocational schools and universities, after the Defense Ministry’s assurances failed to calm the public. Vyacheslav Volodin, the speaker of the lower house of parliament, on Sunday promised an “individual” approach to each complaint received, reiterating assurances from some regional governors.
Meduza news website and exiled tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s media group over the weekend cited unidentified people saying that men of conscription age will be barred from leaving the country after the staged referendums on annexation in occupied Ukrainian territory, which are set to end on Tuesday. Similar reports of an imminent border closure circulated in the days after Putin ordered his troops to invade Ukraine in February, though no such restrictions were imposed then.