As Russia’s war on Ukraine continues, the number of people fleeing Russia grows by the day. An estimated 3.9 million people left the country in the first quarter of 2022. At least 200,000 have sought shelter in neighboring countries Kazakhstan, Georgia, and Turkey since September 21st when Vladimir V. Putin announced a mobilization order.

With so many people exiting the country, and very limited flight service due to sanctions and closed air space, Russian tourism is taking an understandably major hit. Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, the UAE, Tajikistan, Turkey, and Uzbekistan are the only destinations whose international air service to and from Russia remains.

However, there are still a few travelers making their way into Russia. In a clip circulating online, a passenger shares a video of himself traveling alone with a child on board an S7 flight to Russia. Having the plane to yourself for most would be a dream, similar to a private plane experience for many. Yet, something about the endless rows of empty seats and absence of visible flight staff sparks a feeling a bit more ominous.

Ironically, the tweet which now has more than 762k views was posted on September 27th, the official World Tourism Day. 

Twitter users began responding to the video with a central theme being the exodus of Russian citizens and visitors compared to its inbound counterparts.

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