More than 30,000 Ukrainian citizens have already applied for refugee status in Russia, Russian Federal Migration Service (FMS) chief Konstantin Romodanovsky stated Monday.
“More than 30,400 people have applied for a refugee status or temporary asylum in the Russian Federation,” Romodanovsky said at a meeting with a UNHCR (Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) representative in Moscow.
According to the FMS chief, since the beginning of the conflict in Ukraine, FMS received requests from about 130,000 Ukrainians, “hoping for a long stay.”
“These are not the ones who ask for a work permit, but those who made a conclusion that they want to be in Russia long term and they have uncertain prospects of returning home,” Romodanovsky said. He added that in the future, some of these people might also apply for asylum in Russia.
The actual number of people who fled to Russia is significantly larger since many of them do not apply for an official refugee status, afraid of reprisals upon their return home.
According to the FMS, approximately 490,000 people have fled Ukraine for Russia since the beginning of the crisis.
The number of refugees fleeing from southeastern Ukraine to Russia has increased dramatically since June as a result of the ongoing Kiev-led special military operation against independence supporters. Several thousand people cross the Ukrainian-Russian border every day, with more than 50 Russian regions hosting the refugees.