What questions do border guards ask men when leaving Russia – September 23, 2022

Photo: Vitaly Nevar/TASS

Readers of Fontanka spoke about their conversations with border guards when leaving Russia. Some were interested in military cards, experience, and plans. But according to them, everything was quite formal.

A 35-year-old St. Petersburg resident Alexei (not his real name) crossed the Russian-Finnish border on a bicycle at around 11:30 p.m. the day before. He doesn’t know what aroused the interest of the border guards in himself, maybe with a prudently taken military ticket, but he was interrogated in detail and the waiting time for the coveted stamp seemed to him an eternity. He remembered the ten-minute dialogue literally by the words:

Have you heard about mobilization?

— Yes, I heard.

– Do you know about criminal liability for evading the course?

— Yes, you know.

– And what, you are liable for military service?

– Yes.

Are you subject to a call?

Yes, but secondarily.

Do you have a military ID?

– Yes, I can show you, I have category B …

– No need. Where are you going, why?

– I answer where, on vacation.

– Have you bought tickets for a long time?

– A few days ago.



– When back?


Then he was asked where he was born and began to clarify other personal information. After that, the border guard called someone on the phone and after a two-minute conversation, she nevertheless put a stamp.

“The last two minutes while she was talking on the phone seemed like an eternity, perhaps fate was being decided. I can’t say that I’m very afraid of conscription, the military enlistment office and other things, taking into account the difficult farewell to relatives, maybe, somewhere inside my soul, for a moment, I would even be a little glad if they turned me around, and I would be with my relatives again ” , he told Fontanka.

Those who crossed the land border with Finland at night also faced questions and repeated Alexei’s story.

“We crossed the border yesterday in 2.5 hours. From midnight to 3:30. Approximately equal in time between ours and the Finns. There were a lot of people, 100 cars. And mostly transit workers. I heard about Italy, Israel. All the men are asked if they have a military ID, what category, whether there was a summons. But I didn’t see anyone being turned around, ”said Andrey, a Fontanka reader.

“In the queue at our border, everyone said that there was a soldier, they didn’t serve, they didn’t receive a summons. Nobody checked anything. Even if there is service experience, but there is no agenda, it is still possible to leave. I repeat, the employee did it as formally as possible. She had a piece of paper with questions under the monitor, she asked them without even listening to the answers … ”said Alexei from St. Petersburg in the On the Border group, who was traveling to Finland at about the same time.

Similar questions were received by those who flew to friendly Belarus from Pulkovo.

“My husband and I flew to Minsk from Pulkovo. They didn’t ask me anything. At the border control, they clarified at him whether he was under mobilization and whether he received a summons. He answered in the negative. That’s all. We let it pass quietly,” Tatyana told Fontanka about her experience of crossing the border.

The main fear of men traveling abroad, of course, is not even a conversation, but a complete ban on leaving their homeland. The authorities have repeatedly stressed that there are currently no restrictions on leaving the country. However, Art. 21 of the law “On mobilization training” clearly states: “from the moment the mobilization is announced, citizens who are registered with the military are prohibited from leaving their place of residence without the permission of the military commissariats and federal executive authorities.”

However, despite the panic in some telegram channels, no additional posts have appeared on the borders of regions and cities, at airports and train stations, and they are released abroad as usual. This was confirmed by the head of the Federal Tourism Agency Zarina Doguzova.

“Based on the information that we have at the moment, if you have not received a summons, then you can go on trips. We do not have information about any restrictive regulations at the federal level, ”she noted in her Telegram channel.

For clarification, Doguzova sent potential conscripts to contact “the military registration and enlistment office to which they are assigned.” And here again, a complete scatter.

In Chuvashia, Yakutia, the Tver region, Dagestan and most other regions, the military commissars issued a standard order, as if in carbon copy, in which (as it is written in the mobilization law) travel outside the district or city is prohibited. In Tatarstan, at first there was also such a ban, but then it was removed, and in the Samara region a ban on traveling outside Russia was introduced.

In Moscow, on the contrary, the shortest order of the military commissar was issued, in which there was simply no clause on a ban on traveling anywhere. no ban and in the Leningrad region. In St. Petersburg, no one has yet seen the mobilization order.

On the borders of Russia with Kazakhstan, Belarus, Finland, Georgia and even Mongolia, traffic jams appear for several days. Some people spend more than 20 hours waiting. Read more about the latest traffic situation at the borders read here.

Ilya Kazakov,

Photo: Vitaly Nevar/TASS

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