Ukraine crisis: Madness in Moscow as departures escalate as Russian men escape
LONDON – The madness in Moscow has come as departures have intensified as Russian men aged 18 to 65 seek to flee the country following Putin’s partial mobilization of forces.
From the late hours of last night until the very moment of this writing, hundreds of flights depart from Moscow’s two airports to anywhere but Russia.
The image above was captured from RadarBox.com at 10.25am UK time today and highlights an exact part of the exodus that is taking place.
Madness in Moscow…
This madness in Moscow has seen many Russian men attempt to flee the country following Russian President Vladimir Putin’s partial mobilization plans.
Around 300,000 reservists are to be drafted into Ukraine’s front line to fight what appears to be a losing battle on that side.
Because of this exodus, the Russian government has ordered airlines to stop selling tickets to Russian men between the ages of 18 and 65.
This rule is waived but is limited to providing proof of MoD travel approval.
This news comes after all flights from Russia to countries like Georgia, Turkey and Armenia were sold out within minutes in order to flee the conscription country.
Georgia, Turkey and Armenia are the top destinations, which is due to the fact that there is no visa requirement, so an escape would have been easier in that regard.
By noon Moscow time, flights to Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan had also been removed from the sales schedule.
What about flights already sold?
It remains clear that all male passengers between the ages of 18 and 65 who were able to purchase these tickets will most likely have their tickets cancelled.
With no flights available to the vast majority of Russia’s population, this means the country’s airlines will now have to rely on inbound tourism.
This will put additional pressure on Russia’s tourism industry, on top of what it has already suffered due to Western-backed sanctions caused by the Ukraine crisis.
As for Putin’s actions, it’s not a surprising move, given that Ukraine is advancing and liberating land at an alarming rate, so Russia is going to need all the troops it can get its hands on.
However, with this large number of flights already in the air, it seems that these passengers were lucky enough to board.
As this is a developing story, we will continue to provide updates regarding this Putin move and how it will affect the airline industry in the future.
What will be interesting to see over the next few days is the specific uptick in operations from airports in Moscow as well as elsewhere in Russia.
For now, one thing we can say is this: this exodus represents the low level of morale within the Russian forces, and will go to all limits to escape the country.
This is a developing story.