Is the partial mobilization of the Russian population recently announced by Vladimir Putin within the framework of his military operation in Ukraine at the origin of an exodus in Russia, in particular towards Finland?
While reporting an increase in incoming traffic at the eastern border as the weekend of June 24 approaches, the authorities of this Scandinavian state – whose territory shares more than 1,300 kilometers of border with the Federation of Russia – have recently warned against the circulation of false information supposed to testify to an unprecedented migratory phenomenon.
Videos are circulating on social networks,[mais] some have been filmed before and [sont] now taken out of context. Misinformation circulating
Without calling into question the arrivals from Russia, the Finnish border guards declared initially, on September 21, that the crowds at the border in question had “not changed with the announcement of the mobilization Russian”. “Videos are circulating on social networks,[mais] some have been filmed before and [sont] now taken out of context. Incorrect information is circulating”, had then warned the Finnish institution on Twitter.
Situation at Finland’s borders has not changed with the announcement of Russian moilization. There are videos circulating on social media, at least some of which have already been filmed before and now taken out of context. There is incorrect information in circulation.
— Rajavartiolaitos (@rajavartiolaitos) September 21, 2022
And for good reason, as several media noted at the end of the week, beyond the problems linked to the actual shooting date of several videos, some of them were re-shared accompanied by false elements, helping to amplify misleading way the migratory phenomenon in question.
Quoted by Euronews, the author of one of the videos wrongly taken over, for example, reacted by saying that the scene he had filmed corresponded to a “normal” traffic jam for the autumn border crossings. And, as the TV channel reports, the mid-week queues at the border checkpoint in question only stretched “250 meters” in contrast to the “35 kilometers” of queue presented by a surfer whosethe video has accumulated nearly three million views on Twitter.
🇷🇺🇫🇮 Some users on social media falsely claimed that Russians were in queues as long as 35 kilometers at the Finland border, following Putin’s speech. #TheCubehttps://t.co/ACdjG1FE5L
—euronews (@euronews) September 22, 2022
“Traffic entering the eastern border continued to grow”
Asked on September 22 about recent migratory flows from Russia, both by road to Finland and by air to other destinations, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov for his part pointed to “an exaggeration of the alleged crowds at airports”, and warned against “false information” concerning, among other things, road crossing points.
On the eve of the weekend, the Finnish authorities have posted several publications online reporting an increase in the influx of migrants from Russia. “Traffic at Finland’s eastern border continued to grow on Thursday. 6,470 Russians arrived in Finland through the land border. 0 illegal border crossings. We carry out a thorough check on each arrival. We remain vigilant, as always,” read the most recent tweet from the Finnish border guards.
Traffic at Finland’s eastern border continued its growth on Thursday. 6,470 Russians arrived in Finland across the land border. 0 illegal border crossings. We do a thorough check on every arrival. We remain vigilant, as always. #finnishborderpic.twitter.com/9qD90CvlLC
— Rajavartiolaitos (@rajavartiolaitos) September 23, 2022
In a speech broadcast on the morning of September 21, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a “partial mobilization” in Russia as part of the military operation carried out since February 24 in Ukraine.
This announcement of “partial mobilization” concerns 300,000 reservists, according to the Russian Ministry of Defense. These reinforcements will be deployed to “consolidate” and “control” the rear lines, along a “front line that stretches over 1,000 kilometers” in southern and eastern Ukraine, detailed the minister, commenting on a decision that comes as Ukrainian forces launched a counter-offensive in September. The reservists “will undergo training before being sent into combat,” said the Russian president.