Russians fleeing Putin’s plan drive up hotel rates and rents in Central Asia
- At least 200,000 Russians fled the country after Putin ordered a partial mobilization.
- Many head to neighboring countries where they can enter visa-free, such as Kazakhstan and Georgia.
- The influx has driven up hotel rates and rents in these places. Air fares from Russia are also on the rise.
A wave of Russians fleeing their country to avoid conscription is driving up hotel rates and rents in Kazakhstan and Georgia.
At least 200,000 Russians have left the country since President Vladimir Putin announced a partial military mobilization order for war in Ukraine on September 21, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday, citing data from Kazakhstan, Georgia and Ukraine. European Union.
Russian men, some accompanied by families, have headed to countries where Russians are visa-free – by car, bicycle or on foot, with long queues forming at land borders, according to the Associated Press Wednesday.
The sudden influx of Russians entering these neighboring countries has driven up hotel rates and house rents in Kazakhstan and Georgia. Prices have doubled in some places and led to heightened tensions with locals, according to Bloomberg.
Admittedly, this is not the first influx of Russians fleeing the Putin regime. Many highly skilled professionals have left Russia since the war with Ukraine broke out, Insider’s Jason Lalljee reported in March.
Russians, alongside Ukrainians and Belarusians fleeing war and repression, have also driven up rents in Armenia and Georgia, according to independent Tbilisi-based news site OC Media in March. In some cases, tenants were evicted because they were unable to pay additional rent, the publication reported.
It’s not just about accommodation costs. A plane ticket from Russia can cost up to $27,000 on a private jet, The Guardian reported on Tuesday – but demand is robust. This could be due to the fact that plane tickets from Russia are selling out quickly.
The European Union has banned Russian flights from its airspace, but Russian travelers can still enter the bloc via Finland. They can then travel within the bloc on a Schengen visa without a valid check.