There’s a lot of panic… The escapes have begun! So what’s going on in Russia?

6 mins read
The escapes have begun! So what's going on in Russia

After Russia launched an offensive on Ukraine, The United States and European countries announced successive economic sanctions resolutions. The Russian people are starting to feel the impact of the sanctions. In addition, the closure of Europe’s airline doors has caused chaos for those who want to leave the country. Many people alternatively choose flights to cities that are not prohibited.

The United States, Britain and the EU have announced economic sanctions against the war in Ukraine. European countries also decided to close their airspace as Russia’s attacks against Ukraine continued. Countries participating in the resolution included North Macedonia, Norway, France, Italy, Germany, Austria, Poland, CzechIa, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, while Russia was quick to respond.


Russia has announced it is closing its airspace to planes from 36 countries in response to European states closing its airspace to Russian planes. The Russian Federal Air Transport Agency (Rosaviatsiya) said the countries whose Russian airspace was closed were listed as follows:

“Austria, Albania, England, Belgium, Bulgaria, British Virgin Islands, Great Britain, Hungary, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Denmark, (including Greenland, Faroe Islands) Jersey, Ireland, Iceland, Spain, Italy, Canada, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Finland, Croatia, Czechia, Sweden, Estonia”


European countries’ weekend flight ban decisions caused chaos at many of Russia’s airports. Many social media users began to share the destinations available to Russians and where they could reside without a visa. Russia’s Nikita, a 32-year-old data analyst who tried to flee Russia, told the Telegraph: “If you had asked a week ago, no one would have imagined something like this could happen.” Nikita also noted that people chose Istanbul as an alternative.

Nikita, who lives in Berlin and is in Russia for a funeral, was shocked to learn that her flights had been cancelled when she arrived at Sheremetyevo airport.


Moscow-born Anna, 27, says russians prefer Yerevan, where they can stay without a visa for six months, while Maria Weslawska-Gribina says she was an opposition supporter who often went to anti-Kremlin rallies before moving to Poland six months ago with her eldest and youngest child.

His 17-year-old son stayed in Moscow with his father to finish school, Weslawska-Gribina said. He would be 18 in May, so he could have been drafted.” Weslawska-Gribina announced that they had bought tickets for the last flight to Denmark for their son and removed their children from Russia.


Millions of Russians, on the other hand, began to feel the impact of economic sanctions imposed by Western countries due to the Invasion of Ukraine. “I plan to find new customers abroad as soon as possible and move out of Russia with the money I have saved for the first installment,” says the 31-year-old Russian citizen, who works as an industry designer. The sanctions that have now hit Russia have been described as economic warfare.

Daria, 35, who works as a project manager in Moscow, touches on another aspect of the business. As sanctions against some Russian banks were severed from Visa and Mastercard, and therefore Apple Pay and Google Pay, Daria addressed the consequences, saying, “I always pay with my phone, but it didn’t work. There were other people who had the same problem,” he says, adding that they had received a subway card.

Ilya, who is in her early 30s, says she has just finished her mortgage debt in Moscow, adding: “When the operation started in Donbas, I went to the ATM and withdrew my savings in dollars from Sberbank. Now I’m literally putting them under my pillow.”


Images on social media show long queues at ATMs and money exchanges across the country in recent days. People are worried that their debit card may not work or that there will be limits on the amount of cash they can withdraw.

A few hours after russia’s invasion, the dollar and euro began to run out. Since then, a very limited amount of these currencies are available, and there is a limit on how many rubles you can withdraw.

Evgeny, 45, who was standing in a queue in Moscow, said he wanted to withdraw money to pay off his mortgage. Everyone’s stressed. I have no doubt that life will get worse.” “I’m not very good at guessing, but I suspect our lives are going to get worse,” says Marat, 35.

The cash problem is not limited to Moscow: people are also struggling to get dollars or euros in Perm, Kostroma, Belgorod and cities, according to BBC Russian reports.


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