Satellite images show massive traffic jams of people trying to flee Russia

So many Russians are fleeing Vladimir Putin’s call-up that the traffic jam to escape into Georgia can be seen from space.

Satellite images show queues of thousands of vehicles waiting to get into the neighbouring nation.

The other side of the road back into Russia is almost entirely clear in the pictures released by Maxar Technology, which were taken on Sunday.

It is estimated that the queue today contains nearly 6,000 vehicles.

Georgian officials said earlier that the number of Russians arriving each day has nearly doubled since President Putin announced a partial mobilisation for the war in Ukraine.

The Russian leader’s move sparked a major backlash, including a shooting at a recruitment centre, a mass exodus across borders and significant protests. The shooting came after scattered arson attacks on enlistment offices.

Putin looked deeply uncomfortable yesterday when his Belarusian ally President Alexander Lukashenko ranted about allowing Russian men who did not want to fight to leave.

Georgia has long been a major destination for Russians fleeing over the past seven months since Putin’s invasion and increasing numbers of families have been seen dragging suitcases across the border.

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Georgia’s interior minister Vakhtang Gomelauri said: ‘Four to five days ago, 5,000-6,000 (Russians) were arriving in Georgia daily.

‘The number has (now) grown to some 10,000 per day.’

Today, the local interior ministry in a Russian region bordering Georgia said there was a back-up of around 5,500 cars waiting to reach the border.

Russian officials have declared plans to set up a military recruitment office right on the border.

The influx of Russians has sparked mixed feelings in a country where painful memories of Putin’s 2008 invasion remain fresh.

The five-day war left Georgia partitioned, with Russian troops stationed in its two separatist regions, which the Kremlin recognised as independent after the EU brokered a ceasefire.

In the first four months after the war began, nearly 50,000 Russians have fled to the tiny Black Sea country, according to official statistics released in June.

Russians can stay there for a year without a visa.

Meanwhile, pictures from Friday have also shown queues at the border with Mongolia, where Russians have also been attempting to flee to.

There has been speculation in Russia that Putin could follow up last week’s partial mobilisation by declaring martial law, to shut the borders for all men of fighting age.

The call-up has triggered a massive exodus of men fearing this could be their last chance to leave.

Numerous Russian officials have acknowledged that mistakes were made during the mobilisation — when military conscription offices were rounding up random people without military experience who weren’t supposed to be called up — and promised to quickly correct them.

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