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Intermark is carefully monitoring the current travel situation and travel restrictions in Russia

Intermark Legal Opinion: Can Russian men leave Russia and how?

Intermark is carefully monitoring the current travel situation and travel restrictions in Russia for Russian citizens leaving the country in light of the partial mobilization declared in September.

While there are numerous statements from officials that there are no travel restrictions in Russia, there have been reports of new measures preventing people who potentially may be enlisted from leaving the country. The majority of clients Intermark assists are able to cross the border with no restrictions.

▶ Border control authorities bar some people from leaving the country and give them notifications that they should get an official permission to leave country from their local enlistment office.

Intermark legal team studied one of such notifications — it is based on cl.21 of the “On mobilization training and mobilization” law (Federal Law dd. 26.02.1997 N 31-ФЗ), that mentions that all the people who may be enlisted should stay where they live unless they have a permission.

▶ Technically, this is legal because announced “partial mobilization” is still considered a mobilization (cl.1 of the abovementioned law) so all general regulations like this prohibition to leave one’s residence are applicable.

Thus far, no official criteria on who may be enlisted and who may not was officially published, so technically all the people who are considered a reserve force may be mobilized – and be barred from leaving the country. As these regulations were never used before, there are no legal precedents nor established practice.

▶ What to do if you or your employee was denied to leave the country?

In the moment, it is hard to give general advice. Some people try to leave the country from another airport or border control post and succeed (we know about several such cases). Some go to their local enlistment office and get the permission (we know about such cases too) – human rights defenders still advise to send there a representative with a power of attorney.

▶ It is important to remember that the above mentioned notification is not a conscription notice; it is just a clarification why you were barred from leaving the country and what you have to do to be allowed to leave.

▶ It is yet unclear how this may be influenced by the official statement from Moscow’s mayor and Moscow region’s governor on the closure of mobilization actions in these regions.

The published statements declare that due to the mobilization figures reached in those regions, all actions concerning mobilizations are ceased, all additional enlistment points are closed and all earlier issued conscription notices are considered non-valid.

Intermark will continue to monitor the situation and will inform you on any regulation changes.

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