Russians are trying to flee their country en masse: ticket prices skyrocket | War Ukraine and Russia

Russians are trying to flee their country en masse: ticket prices skyrocket | War Ukraine and Russia
Russians are trying to flee their country en masse: ticket prices skyrocket | War Ukraine and Russia

Shortly after the speech in which Russian President Vladimir Putin called for partial military mobilization, Russians are trying to flee the country en masse. Since Wednesday morning, there has been a rush on airline tickets from Russia to abroad. Many Russians seem eager to leave the country soon after Putin ordered an immediate call for 300,000 reservists. Airline prices are skyrocketing.

Putin announces partial mobilization in Russia

Read all developments about the war in Ukraine in our file.

Putin’s announcement, which was televised on Wednesday morning, has raised fears in Russia that some men, for example those who have experience as professional soldiers, will no longer be allowed to leave the country.

Google Trends data shows that shortly after the Russian president’s speech, searches on Aviasales, the most popular website in Russia for buying airline tickets, peaked shortly after the Russian president’s speech.

Many flights departing from Moscow abroad in the coming days are sold out, and the price of the flights still available is skyrocketing. Direct flights from Moscow to Istanbul (Turkey) and Yerevan (Armenia) sold out almost immediately. Those are both destinations that Russians can go to without a visa. A number of intermediate flights, such as from Moscow to Tbilisi (Georgia), were also no longer available. The cheapest place on a flight to Dubai cost more than 300,000 rubles (5,000 euros), about five times the average Russian monthly wage.

Prices are skyrocketing

Last night around midnight, defense analyst Konrad Muzyka shared a screenshot on Twitter showing that the cost of flights from Moscow to Istanbul today is 80,000 rubles, which is just over 1,300 euros. But today around 9:45 a.m. our time, after Putin’s speech, Wednesday’s flights were sold out, while the price of other flights had risen significantly.

Just 45 minutes later, Turkish Airlines’ website stated that flights for Thursday and Friday were no longer available. And the price of those on other days, meanwhile, kept rising. A similar pattern can be seen on flights from Moscow to Belgrade.


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Protest against mobilization

While it’s not possible to say exactly what caused the massive purchase of airline tickets, Muzyka believes Putin’s announcement played a role. “Mobilization introduces a completely new dynamic into Russian society. Many men will want to leave the country as soon as possible to avoid being sent to Ukraine. The sale of tickets to Turkey only confirms that,” he told Sky News.

Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny said the partial military operation will lead to “an enormous tragedy”. According to him, Putin, who is sending 300,000 troops to the battlefield through the mobilization, wants to “stain the blood (of hundreds of thousands of people)”.

Several calls are circulating on social media to protest the partial mobilization in Russian cities.

Every Russian is now fleeing the country?

De Croo on Putin’s speech: “We must remain calm”

Housen: ‘The chance of nuclear war is still small’

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The article is in Dutch

Tags: Russians flee country masse ticket prices skyrocket War Ukraine Russia

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