Russian authorities say there are 5.3 million refugees from Ukraine in the country. However, this figure may be several times overestimated, representatives of the Civic Assistance Foundation (CA) believe.
The fund noted that the main source of information about the arrival of Ukrainian refugees was the TASS agency. All data on the number of refugees from Ukraine who ended up in Russia was given to the publication by an unnamed source in law enforcement agencies.
GS representatives believe that the data used by TASS is most likely taken from open FSB statistics on border crossings. However, these statistics include not only internally displaced persons and refugees, but everyone who crossed the border, including several times.
“There are no normal statistics on refugees in Russia. This is directly related to the fact that the Russian authorities have destroyed the institution of asylum (in 2022, only 97.5 thousand people received temporary asylum, and only five people were granted official refugee status – NV)”, – notes the report’s author, analyst of the Civic Assistance Committee, Konstantin Troitsky.
The fact that 5.3 million refugees from Ukraine are not in Russia is evidenced, according to the State Council, by migration statistics. According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, in 2022, more than a million people from Ukraine got on the migration register, and almost 84.5 thousand from the so-called “LDNR”. However, this, as the authors of the report emphasize, is an inaccurate figure, since one person can register several times a year, or go to another country.
From the same statistics of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, it follows that in 2022, 35.8 thousand people from Ukraine received a temporary residence permit (TRP). This is 21% less than in 2021. At the end of the year, 71.3 thousand people from Ukraine had a residence permit, which is 24% less than in 2021. The GS concluded that it is likely that some refugees preferred not to register at all.
“Many refugees from Ukraine do not see the point in obtaining this curtailed and short-term status. In addition, the Russian authorities, guided by their aggressive and insane geopolitical projects, have taken the aim of assimilating Ukrainians, so they are inciting them to obtain Russian citizenship, and not the status of “temporary asylum” (303,000 Ukrainians received Russian citizenship in 2022 – HB), Troitsky stressed.
It is possible to indirectly estimate the number of refugees by the volume of material assistance, according to the State Council. Thus, the government of the Russian Federation allocated 12.3 billion rubles as a one-time financial assistance for those who arrived from Ukraine. The amount of this payment is 10 thousand rubles per person. The authorities spent another 10.5 billion rubles to support pensioners, the disabled, and families with children. Based on the calculation, about 1.2 million citizens of Ukraine may be in Russia.
However, according to the authors of the report, even this figure cannot be called accurate, since it is not known which of the refugees received this assistance and which did not. The reason for this, according to Troitsky, is that in Russia the legal mechanism for recognition as refugees is not functioning.
Thus, according to the authors of the report, none of the above figures suggests that there could be millions of refugees in Russia.
“It can be assumed that the Russian authorities have real statistics on immigrants from Ukraine. But the amount allocated for material assistance is clearly not based on the stay of millions of refugees in Russia,” concludes Troitsky.
Stories of refugees from Mariupol. One year later:
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