Tue, 28 June 2022
The Daily Ittefaq

Russians pack trains into Finland

Update : 05 Mar 2022, 09:42

As harsh sanctions and authorities in Russia increase pressure on the economy and its citizens, some Russians have started to leave the country due to rumours that the country's borders will be shut down.

The disruption of scheduled flights has put people on trains and this is reflected in the number of passengers on the trains. Since Sunday, the Finnish-Russian operated Allegro high-speed train between St Petersburg and Helsinki is one of few remaining connections from Russia to the rest of Europe. There are some bus routes still operating between the two countries as well.

Passengers, who are heading to Finland have to meet restrictions around Covid vaccinations and citizenship, but the link between east and west is still open even after many other routes shut down. Only Finnish and Russian citizens are currently allowed on the train, due to Russian rules.

Russian citizens are still required to show proof of having received a Covid vaccination that has been approved by Finland, or have an urgent reason to enter the country, for example employment or family reasons.

This means that only Russians who already reside in Europe or who have ties to Finland are able to take the Allegro route.

Finland's state railway operator VR said that the Allegro trains have been running at near full capacity, although not everyone who might wish to get on the trains are able to, due to the pandemic restrictions.

People seeking to leave Russia have more than one reason, as international sanctions have put the country's economy into a downward spiral and the government's grip on citizens has tightened as the war has progressed.

The independent Russian human rights media project OVD-Info (siirryt toiseen palveluun)siuad that as of Friday Russia had detained nearly 8,200 people for participating in anti-war protests since 24 February.

Authorities have shut down independent media outlets, including radio station Echo of Moscow and TV channel Dodzh, due to their accurate reporting about the war.

From St. Petersburg Two trains a day arrive in Finland. Trains to Helsinki have soared in price in response to Russia's invasion. 


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