A day after Russian President Vladimir Putin’s call for mobilisation, the first since World War II, one-way tickets out of Russia swiftly sold out and ticket prices skyrocketed. The president’s address had raised fears that martial law could be imposed and men of fighting age would not be allowed to leave Russia, media reports said.
A clip shared by global flight tracking service FlightRadar24 shows one-way flights leave Russia, after Google Trends data showed a spike in searches for Aviasales, Russia’s most popular website for purchasing flights, Reuters reported.
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
Flights out of Russia were nearly fully booked this week, airline and travel agent data showed on Wednesday, AFP reported. Flights between Russia and the European Union have been closed since Putin announced Moscow’s “special military operation” in Ukraine.
Putin had yesterday declared a “partial mobilization,” calling up 300,000 reservists in a major escalation of his invasion of Ukraine.
“When the territorial integrity of our country is threatened, we will certainly use all the means at our disposal to protect Russia and our people,” Putin said in a televised national address Wednesday. “This is not a bluff.”