Russian President Vladimir Putin’s announcement of a “partial mobilization” has caused some Russian citizens to leave the country.
Proof of this is that several one-way flights to neighboring countries have sold out. From Monday, Russian citizens will only be able to enter the European Union through the 1,300-kilometre land border with Finland.
And on the internet the news is circulating that, after Putin’s speech, the number of Russians queuing at the southeastern border of Finland has increased “alarmingly”. This video already has more than 2.5 million views on Twitter. In it, you can see a long line of cars stopped at the border between the two nations.
Some users claim that the queues were 35 kilometers long and that they “increased by the minute”. But this is not true.
We at The Cube have used open source tools to investigate the matter, and have discovered that the video first appeared on the internet on September 19th. That is, two days before Putin’s partial mobilization order.
Therefore, this does not show Russian citizens fleeing after Putin’s speech about the war in Ukraine. What’s more, the Finnish Border Guard says queues in areas bordering Russia are normal so far.
On Wednesday afternoon, local authorities said the queues to cross were actually only 250 meters long, not 35 kilometres.
Although there was an increase overnight, border guards say the number of arrivals was below a normal weekend and remains below pre-COVID-19 pandemic levels.
They have reported on social media that the situation is likely to remain crowded, but is not alarming and is under control. The border guard claims that there are videos circulating on social networks, some of which have been recorded before and now have been taken out of context.
So false information is being spread. Russian citizens have not queued for miles to leave the country for Finland. The Finnish government is facing fresh criticism for letting in some Russian travelers on tourist visas, but the Foreign Ministry says it is re-evaluating and preparing tougher measures.