Some Russian men crossed into Finland across its southeastern border with Russia on Friday (September 23) after President Vladimir Putin ordered a partial mobilisation.
"It is just crazy. I am just for freedom, Russia (free) from Putin, democracy in Russia," said 27-year-old Nikita, a sound engineer, breaking into tears. He declined to give his last name.
"When Putin has his speech I just pack my bag and directly go to Finland," said 26-year-old Sergey, who is travelling to Turkey.
Reuters spoke to a dozen young men at the Vaalimaa border crossing in southeastern Finland, their numbers growing in the days since Putin announced the call-up of 300,000 military reservists.
Traffic into Finland over its border with Russia was heavy on Friday.
But the Finnish government, wary of becoming a major transit nation, plans to stop all Russians from entering on tourist visas within the coming days, Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto told a news conference in New York.
Exceptions may still apply on humanitarian grounds, but avoiding the military conscription was unlikely to constitute grounds for asylum, he said.
The Finnish border guard said the number of Russians who had entered the previous day was more than double the amount who arrived the week before.
About 7,000 people entered from Russia on Thursday, some 6,000 of them Russian, according to the border guards.
Finnish land border crossings have remained among the few entry points into Europe for Russians after a string of countries shut both physical frontiers and their air space to Russian planes in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
The Sun newspaper brings you the latest breaking news videos and explainers from the UK and around the world
Become a Sun Subscriber and hit the bell to be the first to know
Read The Sun: www.thesun.co.uk
Like The Sun on Facebook: www.facebook.com/thesun/
Follow The Sun on Twitter: twitter.com/TheSun
Subscribe to The Sun on Snapchat: www.snapchat.com/discover/The_Sun/1633225139
#Ukraine #Russia #ukrainenews