Flights out of Russia have sky-rocketed in price — and are selling out — following Russian President Vladimir Putin’s address Wednesday in which he called for a partial mobilization of troops to fight in the war against Ukraine.
Putin said the decree is aimed at reservists with training and experience. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said that the partial mobilization will deploy 300,000 additional soldiers, but that it will not affect students and currently conscripted soldiers.
But the rules of who is covered or not are fairly fuzzy, and there are social media reports of people across Russia getting call-up notices. As a result, many Russians are heading for the exits.
Direct flights from Moscow to countries that don’t require visas to enter — including Turkey, Azerbaijan and Armenia — have sold out until at least Friday, according to Russian outlet RBC.
On the Turkish Airlines website, direct flights from Moscow to Istanbul are sold out through Friday. A Saturday ticket for the four-and-a-half hour flight costs 173,000 rubles (€2,870). Before Putin’s announcement, a one-way ticket cost about €350.
Russian carriers Aeroflot and S7 are not imposing any restrictions on the sale of their tickets following the announcement, according to the Aviatorism telegram channel, citing the companies.