Vladimir Putin left embarrassed as Russian men continue to refuse military service order

Ukrainian airborne forces destroy Russian tanks in attack

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One young Russian man, called Danila Davydov, said he left Russia within weeks of the Kremlin sending troops into Ukraine. The young man spoke to Reuters about his fear of having to fight in a war he doesn’t support. After leaving Russia the 22-year-old digital artist from St Petersburg said he was concerned Moscow would place too much pressure on young people to serve in the military.

Davydov told Reuters that he “didn’t want to go to war or go to prison, so I decided to leave”.

The man said that he was able to take himself off the military service register and leave the country because he had a job offer abroad.

He lamented that he wants to return to Russia soon.

He said: “I love Russia and miss it very much.”

Lawyers and civil rights advocates say there is an increased number of young Russian men looking to avoid the country’s mandatory military service since the war with Ukraine began.

There is a growing ambivalence in Russian society towards the conflict.

Some young men are leaving the country while others are seeking advice on obtaining exemptions or alternative avenues.

Some Russians have simply ignored their summons in the hopes that authorities won’t pursue them.

Military service is mandatory in Russia for young men aged 18 to 27.

Putin announced to his parliament on Thursday that his campaign against Ukraine is only beginning.

Speaking at a meeting with parliamentary leaders he said the prospects for any negotiation would grow dimmer the longer the conflict dragged on.

He said: “Everyone should know that by and large we haven’t started anything yet in earnest.

“At the same time, we don’t reject peace talks.

“But those who reject them should know that the further it goes, the harder it will be for them to negotiate with us.”

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