Since 24 February 2022, around 800,000 Russians have left Russia in reaction to the full-scale invasion of Ukraine. The largest proportion of new migrants was accepted by Kazakhstan, Georgia, Turkey, and Armenia.
War-induced migration should be handled like any other migration, whether it involves asylum-seekers, economic migrants, or repatriates.
Excessive politicization and fearmongering around migration, including political refugees and political oppositionists, is counterproductive, as it feeds into Kremlin propaganda and belligerent narratives.
While there may be concerns about espionage or saboteurs, the primary focus should be on the socio-economic impact of Russian immigration. For the receiving states, especially in the post-Soviet space, the Russian migrants pose a socio-economic challenge rather than a political one.
With an increasing probability of cross-border repression – persecution or intimidation of political migrants abroad – it is essential that the EU adopts a consistent response towards political migrants, including those from Russia.