Buggin' out

‘I’d rather leave than fight’: Russians react to Putin’s draft
www.theguardian.com/world/2022/sep/21/russians-react-to-vlad…
So far, Russia has not closed the borders to prevent draft dodgers from leaving. But many think that could be the next step.

Russians fleeing the country have bought out tickets to countries like Turkey and Armenia, where they can travel without a visa. Individual tickets to those countries are not available until this weekend, and even then can cost more than $3,000. Aviasales, a popular air ticket site, even has an option to choose the destination “wherever I can go”.

DB2

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According to Aviasales, a ticket aggregator, one-way tickets on Friday out of Moscow to Istanbul are starting at $2,715 per ticket. Before Russian President Vladimir Putin’s partial mobilization announcement, the tickets cost about $350.

A survey of one-way fares in coming days to Belgrade, Tel Aviv and Istanbul shows a doubling and tripling of prices.

Russian state carrier Aeroflot’s website showed that only business-class tickets were available for flights to Armenia Wednesday. According to the Aviasales website late Wednesday, one-way tickets from Moscow to the Armenian capital of Yerevan were available Thursday for $4,241, with multiple stops. All economy-class tickets to Armenia are sold out until Sept. 28.

“Due to inquiries from passengers and the media, we would like to inform you that Aeroflot Group airlines are operating as usual. There are no restrictions on ticket sales,” Aeroflot said in a statement.

Jeff

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< one-way tickets from Moscow to the Armenian capital of Yerevan were available Thursday for $4,241, with multiple stops.>

Given the threat to Armenia by Azerbaijan, it’s mind-boggling that anyone would pay a fortune to go there. True desperation. Maybe some are planning to jump off at one of the intermediate stops?

There’s a long history of escape from Russia (and Russian-dominated dictatorships) on foot, cross country. I met an East German (in California) who had escaped from a port city by swimming out in the 1970s. Russia is historically cruel and so deadly that people aren’t surprised when they have to bug out.

Wendy

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< one-way tickets from Moscow to the Armenian capital of Yerevan were available Thursday for $4,241, with multiple stops.>

Russia is in a demographic crisis TODAY; a shortage of engineers, and the fact that their engineers are collectively rather old, is negatively impacting their productivity in many areas including but not limited to production and maintenance of military equipment.

I’ve seen claims that what they most wanted to get by seizing Ukraine was the country’s young engineers.

They aren’t getting them.

And now, because they tried for Ukraine’s engineers and failed, they are losing a lot of their own young engineers and potential-engineers to the war itself, to POW camps, and to other nearby countries not involved in the war.

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Given the threat to Armenia by Azerbaijan, it’s mind-boggling that anyone would pay a fortune to go there. True desperation. Maybe some are planning to jump off at one of the intermediate stops?

Russians don’t need a visa to enter Armenia. Presumably then Russians could transit to a more friendly country.

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Finnish border guards will allow Russian nationals fleeing Vladimir Putin’s military conscription to apply for asylum in Finland.

A spokesperson for the Finnish border guard said that unless the country’s political leadership say otherwise, Russian nationals will have their asylum claims processed.

“We follow international agreements that we have signed and people can seek asylum in Finland,” he told EUobserver on Thursday (22 September).

https://euobserver.com/nordics/156123


https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/finlands-border-guard-s…

VAALIMAA, Finland, Sept 22 (Reuters) - Traffic arriving at Finland’s eastern border with Russia “intensified” overnight after President Vladimir Putin ordered a partial military mobilisation and remained elevated on Thursday but was under control, the Finnish Border Guard said.

At the Vaalimaa border crossing, roughly three hours’ drive from Russia’s second-largest city St Petersburg, three lanes of cars each stretched for 300-400 metres (yards) at around 1:15 p.m. local time (1015 GMT), a border official told Reuters.

The crossing is one of nine on Finland’s 1,300-km (800-mile) border with Russia, the longest in the European Union.

Defence Minister Antti Kaikkonen said on Wednesday Finland is closely monitoring the situation in its neighbour following Putin’s order on Wednesday of a mobilisation for the war in Ukraine.

Jaak

EU is watching the Russians fleeing Putin’s military draft.

Baltics say no automatic asylum for Russians fleeing draft:

VILNIUS, Lithuania (AP) — The three Baltic states say they are not prepared to automatically offer asylum to Russians fleeing mobilization into the military, hoping that discontent with the Russian authorities will grow at home instead.

Large numbers of Russians rushed Wednesday to book one-way tickets out of the country after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a partial mobilization of military reservists for the war in Ukraine.

There was little sign of any pressure at the borders of the Baltic countries of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania after those countries closed their borders to most Russians earlier in the week.

In Latvia, Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics said Thursday that Latvia would not issue humanitarian or other visas to Russians seeking to avoid mobilization

Lithuanian Defense Minister Arvydas Anusauskas said Thursday that “being drafted into the army is not enough” of a reason for Russians to get asylum in his country, which borders the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad.

Estonian Interior Minister Lauri Laanemets called Russia’s invasion of Ukraine “the collective responsibility of Russian citizens” and argued that allowing in those fleeing possible army service would violate European Union sanctions aimed at Moscow.

https://apnews.com/article/russia-ukraine-putin-estonia-latv…

Jaak

Flightradar24 has an interesting animation on Twitter, showing planes departing Moscow and Saint Petersburg.

https://twitter.com/flightradar24/status/1572630639655927815…

Many of the planes appear to be landing in the resort city of Antalya, Turkey, on the southwestern coast. Other planes appear to be terminating in Armenia or in the area. Other planes are headed east, and also south to perhaps the Middle East region.

  • Pete