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The son of one of Vladimir Putin's closest allies tried to snake his way out of 'enlistment' after prank callers made him believe he was being called up to the Russian Army.
Images circling the world show hordes of Russian men being rounded up to be taken to the frontline of Putin's dirty war in Ukraine and the 32-year-old son of Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin chief's press secretary, thought he was next.
Nikolay Peskov was called by hosts of the Russian YouTube channel Popular Politics on Wednesday, who made him believe he had a medical the next day ahead of joining the army.
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"Obviously not!" he told the men who pretended to be recruitment officers, according to a video shared by independent Russian news website The Insider.
"You must understand it is not right for me to be there. I have to resolve this on a different level."
"If I have to defend my motherland I will step up, no problem but you need to understand the political implications and nuances of my situation," he added.
Peskov senior said in Russian media that his son's comments were taken out of context and that he would make the "only right decision".
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The younger Peskov, who was educated in the UK, served in the Russian army from 2010 to 2012 before working for Russian state TV channel RT, reports said.
It would appear the cowardly draft-dodger is set to avoid a spell on the frontlines, yet other Russian men will be sent off to fight in Ukraine.
Vladimir Putin has been slammed after launching a partial mobilisation on Wednesday, September 21. Reports suggest he is readying between 300k and one million soldiers.
In the Russian despot's first TV address since the war in Ukraine began, Putin also threatened the West with nuclear war.
"The West has gone too far in its aggressive anti-Russia policy, making endless threats to our country and people," the dictator said.
"Washington, London and Brussels are openly encouraging Kyiv to move the hostilities to our territory. They openly say that Russia must be defeated on the battlefield by any means, and subsequently deprived of political, economic, cultural and any other sovereignty and ransacked."
Such a speech triggered a frantic search for flights out of Russia, with hundreds of thousands of young men set to escape the country, be it by car or by plane.
Queues of cars and lengthy airport waits were reported, and arrests are said to have been made on those trying desperately to flee the country.
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