Week 3 of the 4-week visa issuance process.
I'm ready to pack things and leave right now. The only obstacle that could be standing in my way is the Russian side of the border. I envision four scenarios of how crossing it might unfold:
One: the border serviceperson takes my passport, reviews it, (optionally: asks me whether I've ever served in the Russian army, to which I'd respond honestly: I haven't,) and lets me go. At this stage, getting into Brussels is still not a guarantee, as the Finnish border service could still deny me entry. I won't lose my visa over it because it's been issued by a different EU state, but I could get stuck between borders or even escorted back into Russia as a result. (Odds of that seem slim, but at this stage, I plan for everything.)
Two: similar to scenario one above, except there's an interrogation involved on the Russian side. It would likely be an attempt to ruffle me, in case I'm avoiding conscription, and/or a way to make me sign up for service by contract. I have a legend developed for this scenario, as means to make myself seem as aloof and useless on the battlefield as possible.
Three: one of the servicemen at the border (not the border guard: the "mobile conscription centers" erected near the busiest crossing) could attempt to issue a summons to my name, either legitimately (if I have an actual summons slip issued in my name already) or illegitimately (as a way to scare me into "volunteering"). Likely same as scenario one above, unlikely to be scenario two. In this case, I'll attempt to leverage my understanding of the law on the matter of conscription and military service. This would ideally give me enough time to cross the border (initiating an administrative or criminal case is not a matter of minutes), though would also likely make me a criminal in the eyes of the Russian law, which would mean – pardon my French – I stay the fuck out of Russia until an obvious and massive change in the political atmosphere and/or the end of the war.
Four: same as scenario three, but I get dragged in for an interrogation on the grounds of my refusal to accept the summons. Things still aren't over at this stage – I may be able to talk my way out of it – but at this stage I lose time (likely hours), transport (likely bus or car, who aren't going to be waiting for too long), and the subsequent flight from Finland which we're planning for currently (I'll have no time to inform my employer of the necessary change of flight). That's the best-case scenario. The worst-case scenario is that I'm dragged into the conscription center from there, and the window of opportunity to escape ends up being painfully slim.
I have multiple plans in place for specific occasions, such as if my phone gets confiscated at the border or if I lose my transport due to the interrogation taking too long. I might not need most of them, but their prerequisites are going to be implemented all the same. I'm not missing my shot.
The border with Finland is quite packed, but the waiting time appear to be very reasonable, meaning that it's likely the people crossing are being let through or denied swiftly. My hope is for the former, and judging by the anecdotes I've heard, it stands to some reason for it to be true.