One-way flights out of Russia sell out after Putin orders partial mobilisation

One-way flight tickets out of Russia were selling out fast after President Vladimir Putin ordered the partial mobilisation of Moscow’s reserves in a major

escalation of his war on Ukraine. The Russian leader addressed the nation on Wednesday morning and said 300,000 extra military personnel would be conscripted to fight the

war in Ukraine. The announcement has apparently raised fears among those of a fighting age that they would not be allowed to leave the country unless they fled

quickly. Google Trends data seen by Reuters showed a spike in searches for Aviasales, which is Russia’s most popular website for purchasing flights. Direct flights

from Moscow to Istanbul in Turkey and Yerevan in Armenia, both destinations that allow Russians to enter without a visa, were almost sold out on Wednesday, according to the site

data. There were also reports of Russians fleeing to Georgia. The Independent reviewed ticket purchasing options on the Aviasales website, and found that the

cheapest flight to Yerevan as of 11am would set travellers back just over 82,000 roubles (£1,200), where yesterday the same ticket cost in the ball park of 8900 roubles

(£130). The cheapest flight to Istanbul – a nine hour trip requiring a stopover in Antalya – weighed in at 100,600 roubles (equivalent to almost £1,500). Some other

routes with stopovers, including those from Moscow to Tbilisi, were also unavailable, while the cheapest flights from the capital to Dubai were costing more than 300,000 roubles

($5,000) - about five times the average monthly wage.