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Fact Check-No evidence Russian airlines were ordered to stop selling tickets to Russian men aged 18 to 65

Reuters found no evidence that Russian airlines have been ordered to stop selling tickets to Russian men aged 18 to 65.

Examples of social media posts with this claim are viewable (here) ( here ), (here).

The allegation spread following President Vladimir Putin’s announcement on Wednesday morning of a military “partial mobilization”, which will steadily draw in 300,000 reservists. Men and women aged 18 to 60 can theoretically be called up as reservists according to Russian legislation, depending on their rank (here).

One-way flights out of Russia were selling out fast and prices were rocketing after Putin’s announcement – which raised fears that some men of fighting age would not be allowed to leave the country, Reuters reported (here).

As of this article’s publication, however, there is no evidence that any such flight restriction is currently in place in the country.

Reuters reported on Wednesday that “the head of Russia’s tourism agency said no restrictions have been imposed on travelling abroad so far”. And Aeroflot, the country’s flag-carrying airline, said it was not limiting ticket sales. (here)

Citing a message in “the Aviatorism telegram channel”, Politico also reported that that Aeroflot and S7, another Russian carrier, were not imposing any restrictions on sale tickets after the announcement (here), (t.me/s/aviatorshina).

Multiple social media users shared an article published by website AIRLIVE – or screenshots of it – on Sept. 21, 2022. The article claims air travel for men aged 18 to 65 would be subjected to “approval to travel from the Ministry of Defense”. (here) (AIRLIVE told Reuters their article was based on a Telegram post from an Israeli account, which itself was a copy of a separate tweet, both of which read, "#BREAKING: Social media accounts in Russia: Russian Railways and airlines are refusing to sell tickets to men 18-65 years of age.")

VERDICT

No evidence. There is no evidence that Russian airlines were ordered to stop selling tickets to Russian men aged 18 to 65 as of the writing of this article. Reuters reported that the head of Russia’s tourism agency said no restrictions have been imposed on travelling abroad so far.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work here .

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