Ahead of Vladimir Putin’s speech on Tuesday and estimated “half a million to two million” Russians fled and flights jumped by “five times the regular price.”
Russian men are fearful that Putin will order another expansion of mobilisation sending thousands more to the “meat grinder” in the Ukraine war or that the Russia leader could order a full declaration of war.
Opposition blogger Maxim Katz, 38, said, “The cheapest direct flight from Moscow to Yerevan is $650 [£540] – five times the regular price.
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“Every pre-planned speech by Putin over the past year has been akin to a professional holiday for hoteliers, real estate agents, cab drivers, and airlines in the post-Soviet Republics of the Caucasus and Central Asia.
“We don’t know how many people took a one-way journey.
“Estimates range from half a million to two million.”
The Glasgow-educated political activist who is now exiled said, “We can say for certain that a million people nationwide are ready to go at a minute’s notice.”
Putin hinted that if Russia loses the war in Ukraine then this will justify the use of nuclear weapons.
In a direct warning to the West the Russian tyrant said, “The more long-range Western systems are being delivered to Ukraine, the farther we will be forced to move the threat from our borders.”