Vladimir Putin’s announcement of a partial mobilization to reinforce his forces in Ukraine sparked a rush on airline websites on Wednesday to try to leave Russia as soon as possible.
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The mobilization initially concerned 300,000 reserve soldiers, but according to the Ministry of Defense, a total of 25 million Russians could be mobilized to join the ranks of the army in eastern and southern Ukraine.
Searches in Russia for the terms “tickets” and “airplane” have doubled since 0600 GMT Wednesday, the start of the week, according to the Google Trends statistics tool, which tracks the number of times a word is typed on Google. About Vladimir Putin registered televised address.
The request to “leave Russia” was executed in the morning a hundred times more than in normal times.
The Belgorod region, which is adjacent to northeastern Ukraine and has been hit several times since the end of February due to Ukrainian strikes, is also at the top of the ranking that indicates the place where this research was conducted.
Tickets for direct flights to destinations closest to Russia — Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan — were sold out for Wednesday, according to Aviasales, which is very popular in Russia for buying its tickets.
In the direction of Istanbul with Turkish Airlines, which since Western sanctions and the closure of European airspace has become one of the main exit routes from the country by plane, “all flights have been completed” until Saturday.
In AirSerbia, to get to Belgrade, the next flight with available seats has been posted for Monday 26th.
Domestic flights to cities near the country’s borders have also exploded, as evidenced by these tickets from Moscow to Vladikavkaz (south) at more than $ 750 … for only $ 70 normally.
At the beginning of the Russian attack on Ukraine, the first mass exodus of Russians opposed to the attack or for fear of mobilization occurred. No official estimate has been announced, but it has affected at least tens of thousands of people.
An online petition on change.org denouncing the mobilization collected 160,000 signatures within a few hours.
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