Putin’s Maneuver: Where the Russians are fleeing to

Russians have landed across the border to neighboring countries since President Vladimir Putin announced a partial deployment on September 21 to the war in Ukraine.

Here’s a guide to the number of people who passed and the country’s response:


Accurate totals are difficult to get, but the number of Russians who have left can be in the hundreds of thousands, based on media reports and figures published by neighboring countries. The figures are not usually broken down, so may include men facing drafts, family members and other travelers.

The Novaya Gazeta Europe newspaper reported on September 26 that 261,000 troops had left since the deployment was announced, citing a Kremlin source. Reports can be independently verified.

Russia has denied some reports in the Russian media that 700,000 Russians have fled the country since the announcement.

4, Forbes Russia reported that the number of people who have left the country since Putin ordered the draft could reach 700,000, citing a Kremlin source.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: “I don’t have exact figures, but of course they are far from what is being claimed there.

Flight booking data shows a spike in departures. The number of one-way tickets sold from Russia increased 27% from September 21 to September 27 from the previous week, according to Spain-based ForwardKeys, which analyzes bookings.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced that Russia plans to enlist 300,000 troops and on October 4, said more than 200,000 people have been enlisted so far.


Some are heading to Kazakhstan, which has the world’s second-longest land border with Russia. Russians can enter without a passport or visa.

Kazakhstan’s Interior Minister said on October 3 that more than 200,000 Russians had entered the country since September 21, while about 147,000 remained in the same period, although their final destination was unclear.

The Georgia Department of Interior, where Russians can also enter without a visa, said 68,887 Russians had arrived between September 21 and 29, while 45,624 had left.

For both countries, it is unclear how many Russians who left went to third countries.

ForwardKeys air travel booking data reported a triple-digit increase in the week ending September 27 for one-way tickets from Russia to Tbilisi, Almaty, Istanbul, Tel Aviv and Dubai.

Turkey, a popular tourist destination for Russians and others, has reported an increase in arrivals and flights from Russia since the announcement of the deployment. One man told Reuters he flew to Istanbul airport the next day in part to avoid enlistment.

About 3 million people arrived in Turkey from Russia this year through the end of August, up 22% from last year, official data shows.

Many Russians have also headed to Europe.


The European Union has seen a spike in arrivals following Putin’s announcement. Some 66,000 Russian nationals joined the bloc between September 19 and 25, up 30% from the previous week, data from the bloc’s border agency Frontex shows.

That number fell to 53,000 in the week beginning September 26, Frontex said, citing stricter EU visa policies and Russia’s measures to prevent underage men. leave the army.

Frontex said most Russians entering the EU already have residence permits or visas, while others have dual citizenship.

Finland, which shares a 1,300 km (800 mi) border with Russia, is the main EU destination. Finnish data shows that the number of Russian tourists arriving through four southern border crossings has doubled in the days after September 21.

Between September 21 and October 5, 59,975 Russians entered Finland through four checkpoints, many of which left for other European countries, while 36,116 Russians returned home, agency data Finnish border guards showed on October 5.


Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland began denying Russians with tourist visas issued by any EU Schengen country on September 19. Finland followed suit on September 30.

Norway’s Arctic border with Russia is the last direct route into Europe open to Russian Schengen tourist visa holders. Norway’s Justice Minister said on September 30 that the government could ban further travel to Russia for a short time if necessary.

Since the start of mobilization, the German embassies in Armenia, Kazakhstan, Georgia, Kazakhstan and Belarus have seen a spike in the number of Russian nationals wanting to come to Germany and the EU.

A spokesman for the Interior Ministry told Reuters that the German constitution provides for political asylum but said: “Due to this case-by-case examination and the ability to travel from Russia to Germany is severely limited, We think there are only a handful of cases.” “

A French minister said France will also select who is allowed to stay in the country, taking into account a person’s situation and security risks.

“We will make sure dissident journalists, anti-regime people, artists and students can still come here,” European Affairs Minister Laurence Boone said on Thursday. .

(Reporting by Doyinsola Oladipo in New York, Caleb Davis in Gdansk, Alexander Ratz in Berlin, Joanna Plucinska, Olzhas Auyezov, Jake Cordell, Terje Solsvik, Essi Lehto, Geert De Clercq, Jonathan Spicer; Writing by Rachel More and Madeline Chambers; Edited by Edmund Blair and Alex Richardson)


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