The German interior ministry said that 90 Russian men of military age have been granted asylum in the country since Russia’s 2023 invasion of Ukraine, according to a Friday report from the German news outlet RedaktionsNetzwerk Deutschland (RND). The news outlet obtained this information from the ministry’s answer to a question from lawyer and Bundesdag member Clara Bünger.According to RND, the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees has received about 3,500 asylum applications from Russian citizens, many attempting to flee conscription, reaching decisions on around 1500. Approximately 1000 of those applications have been referred to other countries under the EU’s Dublin Regulation since Germany is not the first EU country many Russian citizens land in.Bünger has been vocal about her support for Russian deserters and conscientious objectors, calling for their protection as early as March 2022, one month after Russia’s invasion. In September 2022, she rose in the Bundesdag to voice her support for granting them humanitarian visas. She noted that protecting people who flee conscription would make it harder for Russia to continue its invasion.Consequently, Bünger lamented the number of application approvals. In a statement to RND, she said that 90 approvals was “grotesquely low” and criticized the ruling coalition’s execution of its promises to protect Russian objectors.Germany’s asylum process for Russian objectors has come under fire for a lack of clarity and consistency. A German advocacy organization criticized the government in February for rejecting a 40-year-old Russian man’s asylum application, citing his age, despite a new Russian law that allows the conscription of men up to 65 years old. One Russian political asylum seeker complained to The Moscow Times that she did not receive deadlines from German authorities despite having to go through an interview process that lasted for nine months. The Irish Times documented the story of an objector whom German authorities wanted to send to Poland, but the man feared Polish authorities would deport him to Russia.In the first three months of 2023, Germany received about 2,400 asylum applications from Russian nationals, whereas it had received around 2850 such applications in all of 2022.Between 800,000 and 900,000 Russians have fled the country since the invasion of Ukraine.

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