Data from Google trends shows Russians began to search en masse for ways to leave the country and possible deferments from the army ahead of an address by Russian President Vladimir Putin, Telegram channel Mozhem Obyasnit (‘We Can Explain’) reported late on Sept. 20.
It is noted that the index of queries on Google search engine for the phrase "how to leave Russia" peaked on Sept. 20, amid news of possible mobilization in Russia and pseudo-referendums being organized in the occupied Donbas.
The peak of queries, according to Google Trends, was at 6.00 p.m. Shortly before that, there were reports about the upcoming address of Putin and the Minister of Defense Sergei Shoigu, the outlet notes. The issue of emigration was of most interest to Russian citizens in the Khabarovsk Territory bordering China, the data showed.
Also on Sept. 20, there was a surge of inquiries on mobilization and deferments from the army, the message said. Residents of Belgorod Oblast were mostly interested in mobilization, and the peak of requests fell at 1.00 p.m. after the first reports of mobilization.
Earlier, Russian propagandist media reported that Putin and Shoigu may address Russians on Sept. 20.
Later it became known that Putin's address to Russians on the "referendums" in the occupied territories of Ukraine was to be postponed to the morning of Sept. 21.
When he finally made the address, Putin not only announced a partial mobilization, he threatened the use of nuclear weapons if there was “a threat to Russia’s territorial integrity.”