Vladimir Putin has hinted at locking down the Russian border after mobilising 300,000 reservists in Ukraine. The Russian leader last week called the first mobilisation since the Second World War.
Following the announcement, one-way tickets out of Moscow sold out in hours.
Russians flew to Ankara, Turkey, among other locations where they do not require visas.
But reports today suggest Russians are being prevented from leaving their country.
Some fighting-age men are understood to have been sent back from the border to their local draft offices.
Hundreds, if not thousands, have also been detained across Russia for engaging in protests against the mobilisation.
The Kremlin has now hinted it could close borders down to prevent those capable of fighting in its “special military operation” from escaping the draft.
Commenting on reports of people being turned around at the border, Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov insisted he was as yet unaware of such events.
READ MORE: Russia descends into chaos amid drafting resistance
Sergei Tsekov, who represents Crime in Russia’s upper house of parliament, said: “Everyone who is of conscription age should be banned from travelling abroad in the current situation.”
Ella Pamfilova, the head of Russia’s election commission, described those making efforts to leave Russia as “rats”.
Putin’s mobilisation announcement was last week swiftly described by Western leaders as an admission of failure in Ukraine.
This came after a round of successful counter-offences by Ukrainian forces, who recaptured a good deal of the land taken by Russia in the early stages of the war.
UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said last Wednesday following Putin’s speech: “No amount of threats and propaganda can hide the fact that Ukraine is winning this war, the international community are united and Russia is becoming a global pariah.”
Others have insisted the reservists heading to Ukraine will not require the level of training required to help Russia make new gains on the battlefield.