Russia ‘Orders’ Airlines To Stop Selling Tickets For International Flights To Men Aged 18-65: Report

New Delhi: Kremlin has reportedly ordered Russian airlines to stop selling flight tickets out of the country to men aged between 18 and 65 unless they have an approval from the Russian Ministry of Defence. This comes amid reports that the citizens have been scrambling for flights out of Moscow to nearby countries of Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan, after President Vladimir Putin announced partial military mobilisation to step up his forces in the ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

According to Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, around 300,000 citizens would be part of the mobilisation and they will receive their military training before deployment.

Following this announcement, flights to nearby countries and Istanbul, that has become the important travel hub to and from Russia, were fully booked till Saturday.

As per Russian travel search platform Aviasales, flight tickets to Yerevan and also Belgrade are no longer available.

It is to be noted that a day before, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced partial mobilisation in Russia as Moscow loses ground on the ongoing conflict with Ukraine.

As per a report by news agency AP, Putin also warned the West that “it is not a bluff” and that Russia would use all means available to protect its territory.

He also accused the West in engaging in a “nuclear blackmail” and alleged that there have been “statements of some high-ranking representatives of the leading Nato states about the possibility of using nuclear weapons of mass destruction against Russia.” 

Putin’s statement came a day after Russian-controlled regions in eastern and southern Ukraine announced their plans to hold votes on becoming integral parts of Russia.

There are reports that in a desperate move to augment its troops, Russia has decided to induct convicts to join its invasion on Ukraine.

According to The Guardian, the prisoners have been promised a presidential pardon after six months and a salary of 100,000 rubles (1,400 pounds) a month.