Private jets escaping Russia after Putin pledges to purge Russian society

Private jets are leaving Russia for Dubai after Vladimir Putin pledged a "self-cleansing" of Russian society.

Four private Russian-flagged jets took off from Moscow Vnukovo airport between 10.30am local time this morning and 11am.

Danish analyst Oliver Alexander observed the four jets leaving Moscow for Dubai on Thursday morning using flight tracking service FlightRadar24.

It is unknown why the jets all flew out of Russia at the same time or who was on them.

In a speech on Wednesday, Putin said that Russia has to undergo a "self-cleansing of society" following its invasion of Ukraine.

He said: "The collective West is attempting to splinter our society, speculating on military losses, on socioeconomic effects of sanctions, in order to provoke a people's rebellion in Russia."

As Western sanctions on Russian oligarchs began to strike, private jets were also seen going from Russia to Israel earlier this month.

Thousands of people have tried to flee Russia since it started its invasion of Ukraine on February 24 fearing what life there would be like as it is increasingly isolated from the rest of the world.

The sanctions have been seen as a means of getting wealthy and influential Russian businessmen to indirectly influence Putin to end the war.

But several oligarchs have opted to stay out of Russia since the invasion, and have claimed they have no influence over the Russian President.

In the Hitler-style speech, Putin appeared to threaten people who were not supportive of the government.

He said: "But any people, the Russian people, especially, are able to distinguish true patriots from b****rds and traitors and will spit them out.

"I am certain that this necessary and natural self-cleansing of society will only strengthen our country, our solidarity, togetherness, and our readiness to answer any calls to action."

A Russian professor claimed that Putin had moved his family to an underground bunker in Siberia at the beginning of March.

Valery Solovey, a political scientist and former professor at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, said the bunker was located in the Altai mountains and was designed for a nuclear attack.

He added: "In fact, it is not a bunker but a whole underground city, equipped with the latest science and technology."

It is believed Mr Solovey was referring to a massive conurbation said to be built by state-owned energy company Gazprom.

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