Shortly after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that he would deploy citizens to fight Ukraine on Wednesday, “how to break an arm at home” and “how to get out of Russia” became the most popular Google searches in Russia.
The peak of searches was around 6 pm Moscow time, according to the Mozhem Obyasnit Telegram channel, which was the first to point out the increase.
Putin was supposed to give his speech on Tuesday night, but moved it to Wednesday morning. He then announced a partial military mobilization of 300,000 citizens who would be recruited to fight in the Ukraine.
Russians have only 4 hours to say goodbye to their families
Russians also bought one-way plane tickets out of the country after the announcement, reported New York Post. In his speech, President Putin and military officials said citizens would be immediately drafted to fight in the unprovoked invasion after the war-torn country lost significant ground in Ukraine amid recent counterattacks, according to the report.
The Russians were given just four hours to pack their bags and say goodbye to their families, according to a report from metropolitan uk. Tens of thousands more have tried to flee the country, queuing for five hours at the borders with Finland, Georgia and Mongolia. Those who were lucky got the flight, but others were prevented from leaving even if they had tickets or a visa.
Air ticket prices from Moscow soared above $5,000 for one-way tickets to the nearest foreign locations, with most air tickets completely sold out in the next few days. FlightRadar24 shared a graphic on Twitter showing flights from Russia after Putin’s announcement.
Social media groups appeared with advice on how to leave Russia, while a Russian-language news site listed “where to flee Russia right now.” Many people Googled “how to break an arm at home” after reports emerged of airlines denying tickets to people between the ages of 18 and 65.
Data from Google Trends showed a dramatic increase in the search term, from 0 to 38 on a scale of 100, within 24 hours of Putin’s announcement, according to news week.
Ukraine launched its own mobilization program two days before Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion and soon after announced martial law, barring men between the ages of 18 and 60 from leaving the country. It is currently in its fourth wave of mobilization. The exact number of reservists mobilized in Ukraine is classified, but official pronouncements suggest it to be at least 400,000.
Source : www.ibtimes.sg