As Russian troops slowly advanced on The Ukrainian capital Kyiv on Thursday, some people back in Moscow was trying to flee to overseas destinations that did not ban flights from Russia, enduring soaring prices in the rush escape.
The Kremlin dismissed speculation that Russian authorities were planning to introduce martial law following the invasion of Ukraine, which Moscow describes as “special operation”, or that they will stop men of of fighting age to leave Russia, but some did not want for risk to stay.
A Russian man, who moved back to Moscow from Western Europe around a year ago, told Reuters he bought a flight to Istanbul for the weekend, adding that to live in Moscow may be no more possible.
“I’m afraid mobilization will be introduced tomorrow and I won’t be able to fly out”, said the 29-year-old, requesting anonymity like other cities in This article.
“In my worst nightmares, I couldn’t have dreamed of such hell when i was coming back a year there is,” he said.
Another man, aged 38, said he managed to buy a expensive ticket fly to the Middle East on weekends.
“I do not want for fight in this war. We heard a lot of rumors and I don’t trust the Kremlin when it says they are not true,” he said.
Russia invasion of Ukraine has entered son second week on Thursday with Ukrainian cities surrounded and bombarded. Hundreds of Russian soldiers and Ukrainian civilians were killed and Russia was plunged into a isolation never known before by a economy of such size.
To fear arrest
the cost of plane tickets have jumped since Russia shut down son airspace to European Union airlines and many others countries in a tit-for-tat response to sanctions imposed by the West, severely limiting the Russians ability to travel.
Unprecedented Western sanctions on Moscow has already prices sent rising and started knocking lives of ordinary Russians, while those who protest were quickly stopped.
Some 7,669 people have been arrested during protests against the war since invasion has begun on February 24, according to OVD-Info protest-monitoring group.
After giving him son cat family to look after, a 29-year-old woman flew to Israel on Sunday before prices rise even more, fearing that things in Moscow can only get worse.
“I’m ashamed of not having stayed in Russia, that I don’t fight to the end, that I don’t protest in the streets,” she said.
“But if you go out against war, they arrest you, and there is this law on state treason”, she added.
Prosecutor’s Office of Russia office on February 27 issued a reminder that anyone to supply financial or other assistance to a foreign State or international organization aiming against Russia’s security could be doomed of betrayal and face a maximum phrasing of 20 years.
Others faced bureaucratic obstacles. Russians need visas to enter most European countriesand a modest queue had trained at the Italian visa application center in Moscow, which still only accepted requests by appointment, with the closest available slits over a week in a row.
“I will make an appointment for March 11, even if what can happen in the close future East scary and uncertain,” said one 40-year- old Russian woman.
“I want to have a visa ready. I think they will let me in with a PCR test (against COVID-19) and then I’m going to sort something out,” she added.
The Russian vaccine Sputnik V has not been approved by the European Union, which means that many Russians without a vaccine have been recognized in the West can be refused entry on health reasons.
It was not just Russians trying to flee. A Filipina woman who works as a nanny in Moscow was also apply for a visa.
“I desperately want get a visa, I’m scared here,” she said.