Russian migration grows due to the invasion of Ukraine: Finland registered the highest number since the fall of the Soviet Union in 2022

A Finnish border guard talks to Russian citizens at the Vaalimaa border checkpoint, between Finland and Russia, in Virolahti (Lehtikuva/Sasu Makinen via REUTERS) (LEHTIKUVA/)

Finnish sociological authorities recorded in 2022 the highest number of immigration from Russia in the last 30 yearssince the fall of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s.

According to data provided by Tilastokeskus, Finland’s state statistical agency, more than 6,000 Russians crossed the border into Finnish territorywhile between 1992 and 1995, the figure oscillated between 1,700 and 2,600 people.

94% of them were Russian citizens and they were almost evenly divided between men and women.

After the years immediately after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, already during the last moments of the 20th century, Russian immigration barely exceeded 3,100 people per year, according to Tilastokeskus in his latest report.

This massive increase in border crossings from Russia into Finland, countries that share more than 1,300 kilometers of borderoccur in the context of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and at a time when Russia increased the persecution of critical voices.

Statistician Juhana Nordberg said there was a temporal relationship between last year’s figure and Russia’s war in Ukraine, which began on February 24, 2022. Most of the migration from Russia to Finland took place between May and December, added.

For its part, the Finnish Immigration Service said last week that 1,109 Russian citizens have applied for asylum in the country to evade military conscription since Moscow started its war against kyiv.

Ivan, 23, from Russia, waits in a queue to have his passport checked at the Vaalimaa border checkpoint in Virolahti, Finland (Reuters)
Ivan, 23, from Russia, waits in a queue to have his passport checked at the Vaalimaa border checkpoint in Virolahti, Finland (Reuters) (Lehtikuva Lehtikuva /)

After Russia, the main countries of departure for migrants who entered Finland in 2022 were Sweden, with about 2,600 people; India, with another 2,420 people; Estonia, with about 2,400 people; the Philippines, with more than 2,250; and Ukraine and Türkiye, with more than 1,500 migrants each.

For its part, last week the German Ministry of the Interior reported that it received 3,531 Russian asylum applications in the first four months of the year, almost as many as the 3,862 submitted in the whole of 2022.

Last year, Russia ranked tenth among the most frequent nationalities in terms of asylum procedures, while it currently ranks seventh, a reflection of the “significant increase” in applicationsInterior spokesman Maximilian Kall said at a press conference.

He added that in the case of deserters, they receive regular international protection, that is, also in Germany.if it is proven that the reason for their persecution is their refusal to participate in the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, they have fled their country for this reason and there are no excluding circumstances.

As detailed by the German authorities, journalists, scientists and other groups that suffer political persecution are among the main asylum seekers.

(With information from Europa Press and EFE)

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