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ISTANBUL (AFP) – A stream of Russians who flocked to Istanbul on Saturday expressed personal relief after the Kremlin’s announcement but expressed concern for the safety of loved ones Partial mobilization for war in Ukraine.

Prices for some tickets from Moscow jumped tenfold after President Vladimir Putin announced Wednesday that Russia would convene combat-age men for the first time since World War II.

The hastily packed people refused to give their full names for fear of retaliation from the Russian police.

But since the first day of Russia’s invasion of its Western-backed neighbor on February 24, there has been no fear, he said.

“We were talking to friends and many were thinking of leaving. of people have been forced to think about it again.”

Her husband, Andrei, 23, said that from the first days of the war he had considered leaving his hometown. Mobilization was the final straw.

“A lot of people have decided to leave now,” he said.

But Andrei was also worried that talking to reporters could cause problems for his family and friends back home.

“Yes, I think that’s what I’m telling you now – I’m afraid there will be some kind of punishment for that,” he said, standing next to a large suitcase.

“(Russian) laws are applied very loosely. They will find reasons to punish you if they want to.”

fear of closed borders

Putin’s mobilization order aims to fill the Russian army with hundreds of thousands of soldiers A series of setbacks seem to have turned the tide of the Seven Months War.

A top holiday destination for many Russians, Turkey is one of the few countries that still operates flights from Russia.

Russians can also enter Turkey without a travel visa, making last-minute trips much easier.

Flights to Turkey sold out almost immediately after Putin made the announcement on television. Russians flee to Istanbul after call for mobilization

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