Since the start of Russia’s full-scale war against Ukraine, 3,500 Russian men of military age have applied for asylum in Germany. This follows from the response of the German Ministry of the Interior to a request from Bundestag deputy from the Left Party Clara Bünger.
According to Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland, the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) has already made decisions on 1,500 applications. As a result, about 90 Russians who evaded mobilization received refugee status.
1,100 applications were decided in accordance with the Dublin Agreement. According to this rule, the EU state through which the applicant for refugee status entered the EU territory is responsible for the asylum process. Therefore, Russian men who arrived in Germany from other EU countries had to voluntarily go or were transferred to these countries.
Currently, German courts proceed from the fact that evasion of mobilization or desertion are not recognized as sufficient reasons for obtaining asylum. Only if those evading mobilization face particularly severe punishment because they belong to a group of people subject to discrimination can this be considered a reason for obtaining refugee status.
Criminal prosecution for evading mobilization may be considered political persecution if the applicant for refugee status would be required to take part in the commission of war crimes. The war in Ukraine falls under this definition, since during its course, according to the German authorities, criminal attacks are committed against civilians.
Providing asylum to Russian men evading mobilization, however, has not yet become a common practice in Germany, in contrast to providing asylum to Ukrainian citizens who enjoy simplified admission rules.
Conservative politicians in Germany warn of the danger of spies and agents of Russian intelligence services infiltrating through the abuse of refugee status. The internal authorities of the Federal Republic of Germany therefore carry out additional security checks in relation to each asylum applicant.