Russians rush to flights while some reservists are called up

BELGRADE – A large number of Russians rushed to book one-way tickets out of the country while they still could on Wednesday after the announcement by Russian President Vladimir Putin a partial mobilization of military reservists for the war in Ukraine.

Flights filled quickly and ticket prices for the remaining routes soared, apparently spurred on by fears that Russia’s borders might be closing soon, or by a broader conscription that would see many Russian men of military age on the front lines of the Soviet Union could send war.

Tickets for the Moscow-Belgrade flights operated by Air Serbia, the only European airline alongside Turkish Airlines to maintain flights to Russia despite a European Union flight embargo, were sold out for the next few days. The price of flights from Moscow to Istanbul or Dubai increased in minutes before skyrocketing again, reaching as high as 9,200 euros ($9,119) for a one-way economy class flight.

Putin’s decree stipulates that the Ministry of Defense determines the number of people called up for active duty. Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said in a television interview that 300,000 reservists with relevant combat and service experience would initially be mobilized.

Russia has seen a marked exodus of citizens since Putin ordered his Troops to invade Ukraine almost seven months ago. During the morning’s address to the nation, in which the President announced the partial mobilization of reservists, he also issued a veiled nuclear threat Russia’s enemies in the west.

Reports of the spread of panic among Russians soon flooded social media. Anti-war groups said the limited plane tickets from Russia reached huge prices due to high demand and quickly ran out.

Some posts have claimed that people have already been turned away from Russia’s land border with Georgia and that the Russian state railway company’s website has collapsed because too many people were looking for ways out of the country.

Russian-language social networks were also flooded with advice on how to avoid mobilization or leave the country.

In an apparent attempt to calm the panic, the chairman of the defense committee of the lower house of the Russian parliament, Andrei Kartapolov, said authorities would not impose additional restrictions on reservists leaving Russia, according to Russian media reports.

A Serbia-based group of Russians, Belarusians, Ukrainians and Serbs together against the war tweeted that no flights from Russia to Belgrade would be available until mid-October. According to the group from Belgrade, flights to Turkey, Georgia or Armenia were also sold out.

“All Russians who wanted to go to war have already left,” the group said. “Nobody else wants to go there!”

Serbia’s capital, Belgrade, has become a popular destination for Russians during the war. Up to 50,000 Russians have fled to Serbia since Russia invaded Ukraine and opened many shops, especially in the IT sector.

Russians do not need a visa to enter Serbia, which is the only European country not to join Western sanctions against Russia over its aggression in Ukraine.


Jovana Gec contributed to this story.


Follow AP’s coverage of the war in Ukraine at

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, transcribed or redistributed without permission. Russians rush to flights while some reservists are called up

Sarah Y. Kim

InternetCloning is an automatic aggregator of the all world’s media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Related Articles

Back to top button