The number of searches for air travel outside Russia increased after Vladimir Putin announced the mobilization of 300,000 Russian reserve soldiers, Reuters reports. Already during the night, the search for “how to leave Russia” began to increase, as a special Google measurement shows. After Putin’s speech, the search increased again.
After the Russian invasion of Ukraine, many countries in Europe sharply reduced visas for Russian citizens, and also closed the airspace to Russian aircraft. One of the countries that has previously tightened visa rules is Finland, and Finnish Defense Minister Antti Kakkonen told Reuters on Wednesday that Russian mobilization could be a reason for Finland to review Russian visa rules further.
Tickets sold out and high prices
According to data from Aviasales, a popular website in Russia for buying airline tickets and flight tickets to Turkey and Yerevan, Armenia sold out quickly on Wednesday. Both Turkey and Armenia allow Russian citizens to enter the country without a visa. Some fares have also risen dramatically, and a plane ticket from Moscow to Dubai cost nearly SEK 55,000, according to Reuters.
The Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet reported Also, many Russian train service websites have been down, possibly due to massive website traffic.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov declined to comment on the question of whether Russia intends to close its borders at this time, according to Reuters.
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