Israeli journalist Amir Tsarfati reported on his Telegram channel that the The Kremlin has banned Russian airlines from selling plane tickets to men of Russian nationality between the ages of 18 and 65.. The only way they can fly is with a special permission issued by the Ministry of Defense.
This Wednesday all flights from Russia to foreign destinations were sold outafter President Vladimir Putin introduced a recruitment partial of reservists to fight in Ukraine, data from airlines and travel agencies show.
The Russian exodus, which has had several waves since the beginning of the invasion, intensified again after Putin’s announcement in a televised message. Defense Minister, Sergei Shoigusaid that Russia would initially mobilize some 300,000 reservistsafter the president warned that he would use all the military means available in Ukraine.
Direct flights to cities in nearby ex-Soviet countries, including Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan, were sold out as of Wednesday.according to website Aviasalesvery popular in Russia.
Turkish Airlines, for its part, indicated on its website that flights to Istanbul, which has become a major hub for travel to and from Russia, were fully booked until saturday.
The next available AirSerbia flight to Belgrade was announced for Monday, September 26.
Russian media RBC reported that no seats were available on flights to visa-free destinations until Friday.
Google data showed that searches in Russia for “tickets” and “plane” more than multiplied after 0600 GMT on Wednesday, when Putin’s recorded televised speech began.
Although it is a mobilization announced as “partial”, in any case it increased concern and sowed doubt in the population. The increase in queries and the demand algorithm caused airline prices to skyrocket to exorbitant figures, which also contributed to the nervousness in an apparent race to leave the country.
The search for “leave Russia” was multiplied 100 times in the morning than in normal hours, Google Trends data showed.
Speaking to the press on Wednesday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov refused to say whether Russia would close its borders for those subject to the mobilization.
Flights between Russia and the European Union were shut down after Putin announced what the Kremlin calls Moscow’s “special military operation” in Ukraine.
The start of the fighting raised fears among Russians of martial law and led to an exodus of tens of thousands of people to Russia’s neighboring countries. Months later, in the boreal summer, another group of Russians who needed time to sort out their affairs and for their minors to finish the school year formed a new wave of migrants.
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