Some Russians on Wednesday rushed to buy one-way flights out of the country or expressed interest on social media about the move after President Vladimir V. Putin ordered reservists to be dispatched to the country. support Russian troops in Ukraine.
Tickets to visa-free destinations like Istanbul; Dubai; Yerevan, Armenia; and Almaty, Kazakhstan, either sold out in the next few days or their prices skyrocketed.
There are no one-way tickets out of Moscow to Yerevan, Istanbul or Dubai for Wednesday on a popular Russian airfare aggregator. Aeroflot, Russia’s national airline, has no tickets to Istanbul or Yerevan this week, according to its website. Aeroflot operates up to eight flights a day to two cities, according to schedule.
Displacement discussion channels on messaging app Telegram were flooded with messages about the border situation and possible ways to leave the country. Some posters say they fear the Kremlin may soon close its borders to men of military age.
Meduza, a Russian media outlet in exile, publish a guide to countries Russians can travel without a visa.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitri S. Peskov said he would not comment on whether borders would be closed to potential recruits, asking people to wait for the law to be clarified, according to Interfax. , a Russian news agency.
In the months since the war began, Mr. Putin has avoided mandatory, even limited, military service in order to maintain a sense of normalcy in Russia. However, recent Russian defeats in northeastern Ukraine have prompted pro-war nationalists to increasingly demand that the Kremlin step up its efforts.
Some Russians have also expressed anger at countries in the European Union for seeking to embargo them, even those trying to get rid of Mr. Putin’s war machine.
Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, all of which border Russia, this month banned Russians from crossing their country by land, blocking one of the last relatively easy routes out of Russia. Latvia on Wednesday said it would not issue humanitarian or other visas to Russian nationals seeking to evade deployment.
“So traveling around Europe is a privilege, but fighting Ukraine is an obligation,” says Ilya Krasilshchik, a Russian media entrepreneur.
“It’s great that Russian men now won’t be able to enter Latvia and Estonia,” he speak on Twitter. “But will fight against them.”
Finland, the only EU country with a land border with Russia that still allows Russians to cross, says the situation on the border remains normal. The country recently cut the number of tourist visas it grants to Russians by 90%, to just 100 a day.
Valerie Hopkins contribution report.