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.
Vladimir Putin speech
Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered a televised speech on September 21 in which he announced the beginning of a partial mobilization and supported the holding of “referendums” in the occupied territories of Ukraine, among other measures.
It seems that many Russians have come to the same conclusion as Gudkov. Local media reported that flights from Russia in the coming days to visa-free countries sold out almost immediately, with prices for some tickets to destinations such as Turkey, Armenia and Azerbaijan exceeding 2,000 euros.
The opposition outlet Meduza published an article titled “Where to run to get out of Russia right now”, with lists of countries and their entry requirements. EU members Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia have announced they will not offer refuge to Russians fleeing the mobilization in Moscow, citing security concerns.
Why People are leaving Russia?
The shocking news that the mobilization will begin immediately means that many Russians, especially young professionals, will consider leaving the country as soon as possible.
The Russian stock market suffered a sharp drop on the news and there are reports of increases in sales of plane tickets to leave the country.
According to the report of Haaretz, Alexander (name changed), a resident of Moscow, said his 21-year-old son plans to move to Kazakhstan. he is considered only partially fit for duty due to his health status, but we want to send him anyway,” Alexander said. “I don’t know if they will let him cross the border, but I hope they will. He is now taking all job references from him and hopes to find a job in Kazakhstan. I am skeptical and asked her to wait, but my wife insists that she leave.”
Valeria (name changed) and her husband of 33 years were also allowed to cross into Georgia without question. According to her, they crossed the border at 12:30 local time on Wednesday. “They didn’t ask anything at all, we went through very quickly, everything took an hour, there are no traffic jams, but I think the situation will change at night,” she said.
According to the woman, she and her husband were travelling to Georgia for their honeymoon and did not plan to leave Russia forever. But after the announcement of the partial mobilization, they are no longer sure of this: “Now everything is incomprehensible.”
At the moment, there is no law in Russia under which those who fall under partial mobilization can be prohibited from leaving the country, said lawyer Arseniy Levinson.
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