Entry into Europe is becoming more difficult for Russian war refugees. But there remain alternatives. An overview.
Die Switzerland should not grant political asylum to Russian conscientious objectors and deserters. Because that is a high security risk, said the Ukrainian ambassador to Switzerland, Artem Rybchenko, in an interview with the “SonntagsZeitung”. There is a risk that attempts will be made to smuggle agents into Switzerland and the EU via the asylum route.
There has been a veritable exodus of young men in Russia since Russian President Vladimir Putin announced partial mobilization. Hundreds of thousands want to flee the country to escape deployment in Ukraine.
15 years imprisonment for desertion
After the partial mobilization for his war against Ukraine, Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin has put the amended law on tougher penalties into force. Anyone who deserts during mobilization or a state of war can be punished with up to 15 years in prison. Anyone who voluntarily goes into captivity – the Ukrainian government had called for it – can face up to ten years in prison. The Kremlin published the amendments passed by Parliament and the Federation Council, which have now been put into effect with Putin’s signature.
The EU countries are still looking for a common line. A first crisis meeting of the 27 EU ambassadors on Monday brought no solution. The positions are sometimes far apart. the German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser promised asylum to deserters.
Die Baltic states and Poland strictly oppose the admission of these people. of Lithuania Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis wrote on Twitter that his country would not grant asylum to those “who only run away from responsibility”. “The Russians should stay and fight. Against Putin.”
Poland also does not want to grant refuge to conscientious objectors. “We will not allow any group of Russians to enter Poland in general, not even those who claim they are fleeing the mobilization,” Deputy Interior Minister Marcin Wasik told Polish public broadcaster. Such a step is too dangerous because of possible connections to Russian secret services. Poland can only apply the asylum regulations and grant protection in individual cases.
Also Czech Republic opposes the acceptance of Russian deserters. “Those who flee their country because they do not want to fulfill their obligations to their own state do not meet the conditions for issuing a humanitarian visa,” emphasized Foreign Minister Jan Lipavsky. the Slovakia also speaks out against a general acceptance of Russian conscientious objectors. Finland further tightened entry rules on Thursday and closed the border to Russian tourists.
Many countries in Europe are therefore tightening up the treatment of Russian war refugees. So where to? Currently very popular as a departure country Georgia. Here, too, entry has now been made more difficult. On social media, however, you can see thousands of young men at the borders who want to enter Georgia.
An important destination country for the war refugees is currently kazakhstan, where around 25 percent of the population is of Russian descent. The Kazakh migration authorities announced on Tuesday that 100,000 Russian citizens had entered Kazakhstan since the partial mobilization. The tweet below shows refugee Russian men sleeping in a cinema in the Kazakh city of Oral.
The Russians sometimes take extremely long routes to flee. Also in the Mongolia, around 4500 kilometers from Moscow, long queues were observed at the border.
The border to the west seems to be more and more closed, now the young Russians are mainly drawn to the east. The following map shows where entry can still take place to some extent.