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Some Russians Flee from Putin's Ukraine War Call-up

The demand for flights out of Russia soars

Some draft-age Russians headed abroad on Thursday to escape their country's biggest conscription drive since World War Two, while explosions shook southeastern Ukraine on the eve of referendums planned there by pro-Moscow separatists.

President Vladimir Putin's new mobilization campaign escalates a war that has already killed thousands, displaced millions, pulverized cities, damaged the global economy and revived Cold War confrontation.

Though polls have suggested widespread domestic backing for Russia's intervention in Ukraine, mass conscription may be a domestically risky move after past Kremlin promises it would not happen and a string of battlefield failures in Ukraine.

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