Ahead of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s address to the nation on Wednesday regarding plans to announce the mobilisation of reservists and martial law for the Ukraine War, Google search trends in Russia surged with questions like ‘how to avoid the mobilization’, ‘how to break an arm at home’ or ‘how to leave the country’. During the early morning address to the nation, president Putin announced the partial mobilisation of reservists, he also issued a veiled nuclear threat to Russia’s enemies in the West.
According to a Washington Post report, Men reservists under 35 who have served in the army before and posses military skills, were reportedly handed over notices at their offices or in their homes. While some got their IDs checked on the street or received oreders on Telephone.
Reports of panic spreading among Russians soon flooded social networks. Anti-war groups said the limited airplane tickets out of Russia reached enormous prices due to high demand and swiftly became unavailable.
Some postings alleged people already had been turned back from Russia’s land border with Georgia and that the website of the state Russian railway company collapsed because too many people were checking for ways out of the country.
Flight tickets out of country sold out
Large numbers of Russians rushed to book one-way tickets out of the country while they still could on Wednesday after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a partial mobilization of military reservists for the war in Ukraine.
Flights filled up quickly and the prices of tickets for remaining connections sky-rocketed, apparently driven by fears that Russia’s borders could soon close or of a broader call-up that might send many Russian men of fighting age to the war’s front lines.
Tickets for the Moscow-Belgrade flights operated by Air Serbia, the only European carrier besides Turkish Airlines to maintain flights to Russia despite a European Union flight embargo, sold out for the next several days.
The price for flights from Moscow to Istanbul or Dubai increased within minutes before jumping again, reaching as high as 9,200 euros (USD 9,119) for a one-way economy class fare.
(With agency inputs)