Number fleeing Russia 'likely exceeds' Moscow's total invasion force so far

 The UK's Ministry of Defence says that the number of people who have left Russia since President Putin announced a mass mobilisation probably exceeds the number of troops that it has used in the Ukraine invasion so far.

The MoD, in its latest Defence Intelligence update on Twitter said: "In the seven days since President Putin announced the ‘partial mobilisation’ there has been a considerable exodus of Russians seeking to evade call-up.

"Whilst exact numbers are unclear, it likely exceeds the size of the total invasion force Russia fielded in February 2022.

"The better off and well educated are over-represented amongst those attempting to leave Russia.

"When combined with those reservists who are being mobilised, the domestic economic impact of reduced availability of labour and the acceleration of ‘brain drain’ is likely to become increasingly significant."

Huge queues have been seen at border crossings with countries like Georgia and Finland as Russians seek to escape the draft.

The long lines continued to clog highways out of the country on Wednesday night with some spending days in the queues, and Moscow reportedly set up draft offices at borders to intercept some of them.