Russia may impose martial law in its border regions after pseudo-referendums in the occupied territories of Ukraine to stop Russian men from leaving the country, LRT reported on Sept. 26, citing Lithuania's Defense Minister Arvydas Anusauskas.
The day before, Russian news outlet Meduza also reported that Russia might close the borders for draft-age men on Sept. 27-28, when Russia's proxies reportedly plan to announce the results of pseudo-referendums on joining Russia in Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia oblasts. The sham referendums started in these oblasts on Sept. 23.
On Sept. 24, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielus Landsbergis said that his country would not grant asylum to Russian men fleeing mobilization.
Russian President Vladimir Putin declared mobilization in a pre-recorded video address on Sept. 21.
President Volodymyr Zelensky said in an interview with the German newspaper Bild that Putin's order to mobilize additional troops was expected and points to Russia's shortage of officers and other military personnel. "We already know they mobilized cadets, guys who couldn't fight. These cadets have fallen. They couldn't even finish their training. All these people cannot fight," said Zelensky.