Officials doubt whether Russia will see mass evasion of mobilisation and attempts to cross Latvia's eastern border

  • 2023-09-15
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - With Russia continuing its war in Ukraine, it is unlikely that mass evasion of new mobilizations and, consequently, Russian attempts to cross the Latvian border will take place, officials from the Latvian Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of the Interior said on Thursday in an online expert discussion organized by the defense industry portal

The previous mass mobilization last autumn showed that the disgruntled are probably from the middle class, who are unlikely to be those who "want to crawl across the border" and instead choose countries for legal exit, such as Turkey or the United Arab Emirates, said Janis Garisons, State Secretary of the Ministry of Defense.

"As for the others, we have to clearly recognize that if there was dissatisfaction and avoidance of mobilization, then we would expect some internal unrest or something, but I do not think we will see this and we are unlikely to see mass avoidance. I think Russian society has accepted its role," Garisons stressed.

Ivars Ruskulis, Deputy Chief of the State Border Guard, pointed out during the discussion that no mass attempts by Russian citizens to enter Latvia were observed after last year's mobilization. At that time, there were only isolated incidents.

He also reminded that the Russian authorities intensively monitor people at public sites to prevent them from leaving and evading the mobilization. Similarly, it is not easy for Russians to emigrate and they are "relegated to the role of medieval serfs".

Dmitrijs Trofimovs, State Secretary of the Ministry of the Interior, pointed out during the discussion that there have been several individual cases where Russian citizens have asked for asylum in Latvia because they do not want to be mobilized. In one case, the decision was to refuse, and the court also ruled that this was not a ground for granting asylum. In the light of the above, it will now be necessary to see whether such a court decision will have an impact on future court judgments, so the understanding of courts of these issues is important.