Ukraine war: Flights from Moscow sell out as Russians fear conscription

One-way flights from Moscow have almost sold out after Russia announced plans to call up 300,000 army reservists.

On Wednesday morning, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the country’s military would “partially mobilize” military reservists Ukraine.

Flights from Moscow quickly filled as would-be conscripts scrambled to evade the draft.

Turkish Airlines has no vacancies on a direct flight to Istanbul until Tuesday – and even then the cheapest flight costs 2441 pounds (2800 euros).

At the time of publication, Pegasus was a low-cost Turkish airlineonly had one free flight this week at a cost of £1,411 (€1,618)

Similar tickets typically cost between £365 and £600 (€418 – €688), according to Google Flights.

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Wednesday flights from Moscow to the capitals of Georgia, Turkey and Armenia — for which Russian citizens do not require a visa — were unavailable within minutes of Putin’s announcement, according to Russian travel planning website

According to Air Serbia’s website, the first available flight from Moscow to Belgrade is on October 9 and costs around 800 euros for a single ticket.

Few airlines still fly to Russiasince the European Union has imposed a flight embargo on the country.

A Serbia-based group called the Russians, Belarusians, Ukrainians and Serbs Together Against War, tweeted that no flights from Russia to Belgrade would be available until mid-October, Reuters reported.

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Flights to Turkey, Georgia and Armenia also sold out immediately, according to the Belgrade-based group.

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

Russia has announced that 5,937 Russian soldiers have been killed Ukraine since the beginning of the invasion. The actual number is likely to be much higher, with up to 80,000 Russian soldiers killed or wounded since the beginning of the war.

Who is called up to flee in Ukraine?

The mobilization takes place according to a Ukrainian counteroffensive last week recaptured large parts of the territory occupied by Russia.

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Putin outlined the terms of the policy in a speech on Wednesday morning.

“Military service applies only to citizens who are currently in reserve, particularly those who have served in the armed forces, have certain military jobs and relevant experience,” he said.

Russian-controlled territories in Ukraine have also announced plans to hold “referendums” on whether or not to become part of Russia. Moscow is likely to rig the results of these contests, said White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy condemned the “sham referendum” plans as mere “noise”.

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