Vladimir Putin is planning to close the Russian border for all men of fighting age, a source close to the Kremlin has said.
The source told independent Russian news site Meduza that ban could come in as early as Wednesday (September 28).
It comes as Putin announced a call up of around 300,000 reservists to fight in the war in the Ukraine, as a wave of counterattacks from Ukrainian forces look to be turning the tide in the conflict.
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Since the announcement, plane fares from Russia to neighbouring countries soared and huge traffic jams were seen on the Russian border with Georgia.
Meanwhile yesterday (Saturday, September 24), nearly 10,000 Russians are thought to have travelled to Finland by land.
The large numbers of people fleeing the country has caught the Kremlin by surprise, as they scramble to stop fighting age men from escaping.
According to the same source, Russian men of fighting age will soon have to get permission from the military registration and enlistment office to get a visa to leave the country.
Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu attempted to calm fears of a mass mobilisation, by saying only Russians with previous military experience would be called up, though the new decree uses very broad language.
This is sparking fears that a large scale mobilisation could be on its way after 'referendums' are held in the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions.
The referendums are taking place over five days but are widely expected to be rigged in Russia's favour.
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The British Foreign Secretary, James Cleverly, said UK intelligence already has evidence that Russia is planning to conduct voter fraud in those areas.
"We know what Vladimir Putin is doing. He is planning to fabricate the outcome of those referenda, he is planning to use that to annexe sovereign Ukrainian territory, and he is planning to use it as a further pretext to escalate his aggression," he said.
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