War in Ukraine: inflatable mattresses, smugglers… thousands of citizens try to flee the country to avoid mobilization

War in Ukraine: inflatable mattresses, smugglers… thousands of citizens try to flee the country to avoid mobilization

Un homme fuyant l’Ukraine sur un matelas gonflable. Cpature X @CONFLradar

Récemment, Volodymyr Zelensky a promulgué une loi, très controversée, sur la mobilisation de combattants pour faire face aux assauts de la Russie de Vladimir Poutine. Mais de nombreux Ukrainiens commencent à fuir le pays.

Since mid-April, a law has been promulgated by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky concerning the mobilization of soldiers. It now allows the recruitment of people under 25, unlike 27 previously, and also toughens measures for deserters. Citizens in exile, suffering the war since February 2022, are becoming more and more numerous, reports the magazine Géo.

A lucrative business

In addition to this new law, the country will no longer issue passports to men aged between 18 and 60 and will therefore have to return to Ukraine to renew the documents. All of these new measures are pushing many people to flee the country, and very often, at the risk of their lives.

On the border between northern Romania and southwest Ukraine is the Tisza River. There are thousands of them who have already crossed it, according to the Romanian authorities, relayed by the  New York Times. But what becomes worrying is not the will of these exiles, but the conditions of this exile.

The Ukrainians are trying by all means to cross this waterway which is very cold, described as icy by the magazine. They would board inflatable mattresses and makeshift boats to reach the opposite bank, which would be, for them, a sign of freedom.

If the conditions are difficult, add to this the smugglers, who would greatly benefit from the situation. They claim to have negotiated the crossing with the authorities but only provide a simple vest or improvised raft, in exchange for several thousand dollars, according to Ukrainska Pravda. A business which would therefore prove very lucrative.

The Romanian borders would not be the only ones affected by this phenomenon. Moldova would see many Ukrainians crossing the Dniester River. This Wednesday, a man in his thirties was arrested on an inflatable mattress, who explained that he had already paid more than 2,000 dollars to a smuggler. The situation is unlikely to improve in the coming months.

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