Rush on plane tickets to flee Russia and the mobilization

Vladimir Putin’s announcement of a partial mobilization to reinforce his troops in Ukraine triggered a wave of panic. This Wednesday, airline websites were stormed in an attempt to leave Russia as quickly as possible. The mobilization initially concerns 300,000 reservists, but according to the Ministry of Defense a total of 25 million Russians can be mobilized to join the ranks of the army in eastern and southern Ukraine.

According to the Google Trends statistical tool, which tracks how often a word was typed on Google, searches in Russia with the terms “tickets” and “plane” have more than doubled since 8 a.m. Wednesday (French time) , or at the beginning of Vladimir Putin’s recorded televised address. The request to “leave Russia” was carried out 100 times more in the morning than in normal times.

Direct tickets sold out

The region of Belgorod, bordering north-eastern Ukraine and hit several times since the end of February by Ukrainian strikes, is also at the top of the ranking indicating the place where this research was made.

Tickets for direct flights to the destinations closest to Russia – Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan – are all sold out for Wednesday, according to the Aviasales site, very popular in Russia for buy their tickets. In the direction of Istanbul with Turkish Airlines, which has become since Western sanctions and the closure of European airspace one of the main exit routes from the country by plane, “all flights are complete” until Saturday.

Prices have exploded

At AirSerbia, to reach Belgrade, the next flight with available seats was posted for Monday 26. Domestic flights to cities near the country’s borders have also exploded, as evidenced by these tickets offered from Moscow to Vladikavkaz (south ) for more than 750 dollars… Against barely 70 dollars normally.

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At the start of the Russian offensive in Ukraine, a first exodus of Russians opposed to the assault or fearing mobilization had taken place. No official estimate has been made public, but it affected at least tens of thousands of people. An online petition on the change.org site to denounce the mobilization gathered 160,000 signatures in a few hours.

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