The Kremlin denies reports that 700,000 people have fled Russia
The Kremlin on Thursday denied reports that 700,000 Russians have fled the country since Moscow announced a mobilization campaign that it said would call up hundreds of thousands to fight in Ukraine.
Briefing reporters, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said he did not have accurate figures for the number of people who had left the country since President Vladimir Putin announced a "partial mobilization" on September 21.
"I don't think these numbers should be taken seriously," Peskov said in response to a question about reports in the Russian media that up to 700,000 Russians could have left the country.
"I don't have exact numbers, but they (the exact numbers) are of course far from what is claimed (in those reports)," he added.
Tens of thousands of Russians, mostly of military age, have fled the country in an attempt to evade being called up for service in Ukraine.
Kazakhstan, Georgia and Mongolia, which have land borders with Russia, reported a jump in the number of travelers from crossing points after Putin's decision.
But it is difficult to get accurate figures on the Russians who have left the country.
Putin's mobilization campaign has proven one of the most unpopular moves since the conflict, which Russia calls a "special military operation", began in February.
The mobilization has caused protests in cities and regions across Russia.
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