Many flights out of Russia quickly sold out, while border crossings experienced a huge uptick in traffic, after concerns over Vladimir Putin’s partial mobilisation decision, to gather 300,000 reservists for the war in Ukraine.
Prices for air tickets out of Moscow soared above USD 5,000 for one-way tickets to the nearest foreign locations, with most air tickets sold out completely for the coming days.
Flights leaving Russia are selling out or skyrocketing in price on Wednesday after Putin announced a partial mobilization of reservists amid the nation’s struggles in its war with Ukraine.https://t.co/9Pi9KVteDP
— Julia Davis (@JuliaDavisNews) September 22, 2022
Not able to leave
A tourism industry source told Reuters that there was desperation as people sought to find air tickets out of Russia.
“The most popular queries on Google in Russia right now:
1. How to leave Russia (grew almost the same as in February)
3. Respite from the army.”
Your silence have already killed thousands on both sides.
So, run Russians, run!!! pic.twitter.com/GJRoLYJE6m
— Ukraine Front Lines (@EuromaidanPR) September 20, 2022
“This is panic demand from people who are afraid they won’t be able to leave the country later – people are buying tickets not caring where they fly to,” the source said.
Dozens of passengers disembarked early on Thursday in Belgrade from a fight from Moscow. Many of the passengers had already bought tickets earlier, however, now they are contemplating the option not to come back.
Flights departing Moscow and St. Petersburg today. The @AP is reporting international flights departing Russia have either sold out or skyrocketed in price after Putin announced a mobilization of reservists.
Search SVO, VKO, DME for Moscow airports and LED for St. Petersburg. pic.twitter.com/LV2PrkwPD9
— Flightradar24 (@flightradar24) September 21, 2022
Tailbacks on border crossings
Social media groups popped up with advice on how to get out of Russia, while one news site in Russian gave a list of “where to run away right now from Russia.” Meanwhile, long tailbacks formed at border crossings with Georgia and Finland.
This is how the Russian-Georgian border looks now. pic.twitter.com/EOFFXGo6eR
— NEXTA (@nexta_tv) September 21, 2022
Traffic arriving at Finland’s eastern border with Russia “intensified” overnight, the Finnish Border Guard said.
“The number clearly has picked up,” the Finnish border guard’s head of international affairs, Matti Pitkaniitty, told Reuters, adding that the situation was under control and border guards were ready at nine checkpoints.
Furthermore, some people started to protest on Wednesday after jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny called for mass demonstrations against the mobilisation. Independent protest monitoring group OVD-Info said nearly 1,400 people in 38 Russian cities had been detained in protests by Wednesday evening.
Growing protests against military mobilization in St Petersburg, Moscow, Yekaterinburg and many other Russian cities tonight.
Russians prefer watching the war on TV. Getting HIMARSed in person in Kherson isn’t attractive at all. pic.twitter.com/nmHbUad6wk
— Visegrád 24 (@visegrad24) September 21, 2022
Putin on Wednesday ordered Russia’s first mobilisation since World War Two and backed a plan to annex swathes of Ukraine, warning the West he was not bluffing when he said he’d be ready to use nuclear weapons to defend Russia.
In the far eastern region of Yakutia, a military commissar already ordered a call for mobilisation.
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