Flights out of Russia have sold out or rocketed up to £10,000 in price after Vladimir Putin announced the country's first mobilisation of reservists since World War Two.
Seats on aeroplanes destined for international airports out of Moscow and St Petersburg were being quickly snapped up following Putin's televised address to the nation yesterday, leaving those who could not afford a five-figure, one-way ticket contemplating being called up for the war in Ukraine.
A late afternoon flight from Moscow to Heathrow was listed at £10,051, whilse a ticket from the Russian capital to Istanbul in Turkey for a near-midnight departure was available at £10,115.
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Looking further ahead, a flight from Moscow leaving for the Iranian capital of Tehran on Saturday was available for a still inflated cost of £962.
In his speech, Putin also spoke of his plan to annex large parts of Ukraine, while warning the West that he is ready to use nuclear weapons to defend Russia.
Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, meanwhile, revealed that 300,000 additional reservists from some 25million potential fighters at Moscow's disposal would now be drafted in to assist Russia's troops in Ukraine.
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During the address, which was made following a critical Russian battlefield defeat in north-east Ukraine, Putin said: "If the territorial integrity of our country is threatened, we will without doubt use all available means to protect Russia and our people – this is not a bluff. In its aggressive anti-Russian policy, the West has crossed every line and those who try to blackmail us with nuclear weapons should know that the weathervane can turn and point towards them."
Putin's mobilisation is the first since World War Two when the Soviet Union were battling Nazi Germany and begins immediately.
The 69-year-old president added: "It is in our historical tradition, in the fate of our people, to stop those striving for world domination, who threaten the dismemberment and enslavement of our Motherland, our Fatherland. We will do it now, and it will be so. I believe in your support."
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