September 22, 2022 Russia-Ukraine news

By Aditi Sangal, Tara Subramaniam, Andrew Raine, Jack Bantock, Ed Upright, Adrienne Vogt and Maureen Chowdhury, CNN

Updated 9:15 p.m. ET, September 22, 2022
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1:02 a.m. ET, September 22, 2022

There's a sharp rise in demand for flights out of Moscow right now

From CNN's Uliana Pavlova and Tim Lister

Passengers from the Moscow-Belgrade flight, operated by Air Serbia, pass through the airport building in Belgrade, Serbia on Wednesday, Sept. 21.
Passengers from the Moscow-Belgrade flight, operated by Air Serbia, pass through the airport building in Belgrade, Serbia on Wednesday, Sept. 21. (Darko Vojinovic/AP)

Flight sales websites in Russia indicate that all direct flights to countries that do not require Russian visas are sold out through Friday at least.

Direct flights from Moscow to Istanbul, Yerevan in Armenia and Baku in Azerbaijan are among those that are full, according to ticket aggregator sites.

The term “leaving Russia” saw a sharp spike in searches among Russians over the past 24 hours, according to Google Trends.

Google Trends also shows there has been a sharp rise in people searching “Aviasales,” which is a leading Russian flight sales engine. The number has quadrupled in the last 24 hours.

According to Aviasales, a ticket aggregator, one-way tickets on Friday out of Moscow to Istanbul are starting at $2,715 per ticket. Before Russian President Vladimir Putin’s partial mobilization announcement, the tickets cost about $350.

A survey of one-way fares in coming days to Belgrade, Tel Aviv and Istanbul shows a doubling and tripling of prices. 

Russian state carrier Aeroflot's website showed that only business-class tickets were available for flights to Armenia Wednesday. According to the Aviasales website late Wednesday, one-way tickets from Moscow to the Armenian capital of Yerevan were available Thursday for $4,241, with multiple stops. All economy-class tickets to Armenia are sold out until Sept. 28. 

"Due to inquiries from passengers and the media, we would like to inform you that Aeroflot Group airlines are operating as usual. There are no restrictions on ticket sales," Aeroflot said in a statement.

Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier announced the immediate partial mobilization of Russian citizens.

12:12 a.m. ET, September 22, 2022

EU foreign ministers to hold emergency meeting on Ukraine

From CNN's Caitlin Hu and Nicki Brown

Foreign ministers of European Union member states, currently in New York attending the United Nations General Assembly, will hold an emergency meeting on Wednesday night to discuss the recent developments related to Russia's war in Ukraine, the EU's top diplomat announced at a press briefing. 

High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell said the meeting was called after a speech from Russian President Vladimir Putin, which Borrell described as the Russian leader's implicit threat to use nuclear weapons. 

Tonight, immediately after knowing the words of Mr. Putin, I am convening an extraordinary and ad hoc informal meeting of the EU foreign ministers with the purpose to agree on a common line. And the common line I'm sure can be summarized as saying, 'We will not be intimidated and will continue full support for Ukraine’s sovereignty,'" he said.

Borrell said Putin looked "like he [was] speaking with ... panic and desperation" in his announcement of an immediate partial mobilization of Russian citizens.

"He is doubling [down] on a failing strategy. By the threat of using nuclear weapons, he is trying to intimidate Ukraine and all countries that support. But he will fail," Borrell said. 

In response to a question about what will happen at tonight's emergency meeting, he said:

"I think ministers have to discuss this threat to reiterate continuous support for Ukraine and to alert the international community about the unacceptable situation in which Putin is putting all of us. The ministers will discuss how to continue military support to Ukraine, how to continue putting pressure on Russia."  

He also said that new EU sanctions against Russia would be "on the table." 

"I will start proposing what to do with sanctions. And we will reinforce our reach out to all states in the world in order to share with them our strong concern for this situation," Borrell said. 

Borrell said he does not have plans to meet Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who is also in New York to attend the UN meeting.