As Russian troops slowly advanced on Ukraine’s capital Kyiv on Thursday, some people back in Moscow were attempting to flee to destinations abroad that have not banned flights from Russia, stomaching soaring prices in the rush to escape.
The Kremlin dismissed speculation that Russian authorities plan to introduce martial law following the invasion of Ukraine, which Moscow calls a “special operation”, or that they will stop men of fighting age leaving Russia, but some did not want to risk staying.
One Russian man, who moved back to Moscow from western Europe around a year ago, said he had bought a flight to Istanbul for the weekend, adding that living in Moscow may no longer be possible.
“I’m afraid that mobilisation will be introduced tomorrow and I won’t be able to fly out,” said the 29-year-old, requesting anonymity like others cited in this article.
“In my worst nightmares I couldn’t have dreamt of such hell when I was coming back a year ago.”
Another man, aged 38, said he had managed to buy an expensive ticket to fly to the Middle East at the weekend.
“I don’t want to fight in this war. We’ve heard lots of rumours and I don’t trust the Kremlin when it says they aren’t true,” he said. [Continue reading…]