Many Russians have hurriedly booked one-way tickets to leave Russia after the country’s president, Vladimir Putin, announced the partial mobilization of military reservists for the war in Ukraine.
The Russian Minister of Defense, Sergei Shoigu, said in a television interview that 300,000 reservists with relevant military experience will be mobilized.
Ticket prices have immediately risen, as there are concerns that Russia’s borders could soon be closed, or that Putin could announce full mobilization.
Large numbers of Russians have already fled the country since Putin ordered the military to invade Ukraine nearly seven months ago.
Air Serbia, the only European company – apart from Turkish Airlines – that operates flights to Russia, despite the embargo imposed by the European Union, has sold tickets quickly on the Moscow-Belgrade route.
Tickets for flights from Moscow to Istanbul and Dubai have been sold for up to 9,200 euros.
A Belgrade-based group called Russians, Belarusians, Ukrainians and Serbs United Against the War has announced that there are no more tickets available for flights from Russia to Belgrade until mid-October.
Tickets for flights to Turkey, Georgia and Armenia have also been sold.
Russians can enter Serbia without visas.
Belgrade has not joined the Western sanctions against Russia for the war started in Ukraine.
Allied countries such as Belarus and China have also not imposed sanctions on Russia.
Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine on February 24.
He calls the war a “special military operation” to demilitarize Ukraine.
The West has responded to Russia, hitting the economy of this country with harsh sanctions.
As a result of the war, thousands of people have died and millions more have been displaced from their homes./REL