Russian men are fleeing the country and going to 'any country that would let them in': New York Times
Vladimir Putin (AFP)

Russian President Vladimir Putin this week announced a mobilization for his flagging war in Ukraine, and it appears that many men in his country have no strong desire to volunteer.

The New York Times reports that Putin's escalation announcement has led many Russian men to flee their homeland by boarding planes to "any country that would let them in."

In an interview with the Times, one 23-year-old Russian man revealed that he flew to Istanbul upon hearing the announcement of the mobilization, as he had a friend who said he was willing to house him at least temporarily.

"I was sitting and thinking about what I could die for, and I didn’t see any reason to die for the country," he said.

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A 37-year-old Russian man named Aleksandr, meanwhile, told the Times that he started packing his bags to flee before Putin had even finished his announcement.

“I realized that the stakes just were very high,” he said. “I was already ready for everything, that they would just turn me away at the border.”

And a 26-year-old merchant mariner named Dmitriy told the Times that he was willing to flee his homeland to avoid being caught in what he believes is Putin's vanity project.

"Lots of people want to leave Russia now because they don’t want to fight for the opinion of one person," he said.