Russia sees spike in Google searches for 'How to leave Russia'
In the hours before Russian President Vladimir Putin was expected to address the nation regarding plans to conduct “referendums” in Ukraine’s occupied territories Tuesday, searches for the phrase “How to leave Russia” spiked on Google. The surge was noted by the Telegram channel Mozhem Obyasnit, though it’s available for all to see on Google Trends. The phrase’s popularity appears to have peaked at about 6:00 pm Moscow time.
Earlier Tuesday, Russian lawmakers unanimously passed legislation introducing the concepts of "mobilization" and "martial law" to the criminal code. That, combined with Russian-installed officials in Ukraine's occupied territories calling for "referendums" on annexation on September 23–27, has led to widespread speculation that Putin will soon announce a general mobilization.