Following Moscow’s declaration of a recruiting drive this week amid the Ukrainian situation, Kazakh officials said on Friday that there had been an increase in visits to Russia’s neighbour. On Wednesday, President Vladimir Putin issued the first mobilisation order for Russia since World War Two and backed a plan to annexe major areas of Ukraine, which prompted a wave of conscription-eligible males to flee the country.
The 30 road checkpoints that make up the second-longest border in the world were particularly busy at four of them, according to a statement from Kazakhstan’s border guard agency, which did not include arrivals information. A witness who wanted to remain anonymous out of fear for his safety was interviewed by Reuters.
According to the witness, they have been waiting in line at the border gate since Thursday morning and have witnessed abnormally heavy traffic arriving from Russia as well as protracted, comprehensive examinations of Russian vehicles by Russian border guards. Numerous men who seemed to be under 35 and conscription age were among those trying to enter the border, according to the eyewitness. Long lineups, mostly composed of passenger cars, may be seen in online videos of Kazakh truck drivers crossing the border.