President Vladimir Putin's order of a "partial" military mobilisation has prompted some Russians to protest on the streets. Others have fled, fearing they could be called up to serve in Ukraine.One-way flights to nearby countries have now sold out, while Google recorded a spike of people searching for ways to leave Russia.Since Monday, Russian citizens can only enter the European Union via the 1,340-kilometre border with Finland.
Unlike the Baltic nations and Poland, Finland has not completely restricted the entry of Russian tourists with Schengen visas.Putin's speech prompted misleading rumours that some Russians had joined lengthy queues at Finland’s southeastern border on Wednesday night, hoping to leave the country.
Euronews has fact-checked the claims.A number of images and videos were shared online, showing long lines of stationary traffic at Finland's border.Some users falsely claimed that the queues and traffic jams were as long as 35 kilometres and were “rising by the hour”.One such video of the Vaalimaa border post in southeastern Finland gathered more than 2.5 million views on Twitter.However, an online investigation reveals the footage was first shared online on 19 September, two days before Putin's mobilisation call.The owner of the video, who posted the clip on both YouTube and TikTok, also states that it was filmed “two weeks earlier” at the end of August and that the congestion was "normal" for autumn border crossings.His claims have also been supported by the Finnish Border Guard Service."There is normal queuing in border traffic," said Matti Pitkäniitty, the head of the International Affairs Unit at the Finnish Border Guard."The situation at [the] Finnish-Russian land border remains normal," he wroteRead more on euronews.com