Mary Ilyushina, a reporter on the Foreign Desk of The Washington Post, covers Russia and the region. She began her career in independent Russian media before joining CNN’s Moscow bureau as a field producer in 2017. She has been with The Post since 2021. She speaks Russian, English, Ukrainian and Arabic.
The Ukrainian government on Wednesday denounced Russia’s staged referendums in four partially occupied regions, while Putin reportedly prepares for a State of the Union address, where annexation could be announced.
With the Russian president's impending announcement, and fears that it could be accompanied by a declaration of martial law, the exodus of fighting-age Russian men trying to flee military mobilization appeared to be reaching critical levels.