Russian President Vladimir Putin calling for additional troops to fight in Ukraine has triggered a rush of flights out of the country, as citizens try to flee over fears they may be sent to the frontlines.
According to a New York Times report, tickets for countries like Kazakhstan, Turkey and Armenia -- where Russians can travel without visas -- have sold out or become extremely expensive.
On Wednesday, September 21, there were reportedly no one-way tickets available from Moscow to Istanbul or Yerevan -- the capital of Armenia.
Flightradar 24, a Swedish service that provides real-time flight tracking information, shared a time-lapse video showing a flurry of flights out of Moscow and St Petersburg.
Flights departing Moscow and St. Petersburg today. The @AP is reporting international flights departing Russia have either sold out or skyrocketed in price after Putin announced a mobilization of reservists.
Search SVO, VKO, DME for Moscow airports and LED for St. Petersburg. pic.twitter.com/LV2PrkwPD9— Flightradar24 (@flightradar24) September 21, 2022
Russian President Vladimir Putin, in a national televised address on Wednesday, called for "partial" mobilisation in Russia, adding that the Defence Ministry would ascertain how many more troops will be called for duty.
Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said that initially, 300,000 reservists with service experience will be called up.
This announcement led to fears that in the future, the country may broaden the scope and order many men of fighting age to go war in Ukraine
Putin's call for additional troops to carry on Russia's war on Ukraine led to protests in the country and drew condemnation from world leaders.
At the UN General Assembly, United States President Joe Biden criticised Russia's violation of the core principles of the UN Charter.
He said Russia was trying to take away Ukraine's "right to exist as a state," destroying its hospitals, railway stations and schools.
French President Emmanuel Macron urged the global community to put "maximum pressure" on Putin to end the violence in Ukraine.
(With inputs from AFP and AP)