Flights out of Russia were almost completely booked as President Vladimir Putin said the country would mobilize reservists to fight in Ukraine. The popular Aviales website in Russia showed that direct flights to cities in Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan and neighboring countries of Kazakhstan were sold out on Wednesday. Turkish Airlines said on its website that flights to Istanbul, which has become an important travel hub for to and from Russia, were fully booked as of Saturday. Mr Putin made the announcement in his televised address.
Read also | One-way flights from Russia rush after Putin’s threat to Ukraine
Several news outlets and journalists said on Twitter that Russian airlines had stopped selling tickets to Russian men between the ages of 18 and 65 (fighting age), amid fears that martial law could be imposed.
#Breaking: Social media accounts in Russia: Russian Railways and airlines are refusing to sell tickets to men aged 18-65
— amichai stein (@amichaystein1) September 21, 2022
Good luck A report said that only youths who have obtained approval from the Russian Defense Ministry will be allowed to leave the country.
The outlet further said there is also a possibility that referendums will be held in Luhansk and Donetsk provinces later this week to give Mr Putin an opportunity to officially annex those parts of Ukraine and make it official Russian territory.
After Mr Putin’s address on Wednesday, Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu claimed 300,000 men could be called up for service.
Russia’s “special military operation”, which has been running for more than six months, claimed thousands of lives and displaced millions. But Mr Putin is refusing to stop, even accusing the West of “blackmail and intimidation”.
There are reports that Russia, in a desperate move, is trying to recruit defectors to join its war in Ukraine. The recruitments are being made by Yevgeny Prigozhin, the head of the mercenary organization known as the Wagner Group. Guardian,
The outlet further said that all prisoners have been promised an amnesty from the president after six months and a salary of 100,000 rubles (1,400 pounds) a month.
The Daily Beast Said that the new recruits include serial killers “at least one cannibal”.