BBC News Russia reports that for many Russian men the Kremlin’s decision to call up 300,000 military reservists for the war in Ukraine came as a shock.
In the big cities, Russia’s seven-month war on its neighbour has always seemed a long way away. But as soon as President Vladimir Putin’s address was over, it hit home. Being sent into combat was closer than anyone could have imagined.
Office messaging chats exploded with anxious discussions of what would happen next. Plans were made on how to avoid being sent to the front line.
“It was like a sci-fi movie from the 1980s. A bit scary to be honest with you,” says Dmitry, 28, who works in an office in St Petersburg. Staff could not start their working day, glued to the speech on their TV, computer and mobile phone screens.