Ukrainian refugees. People fleeing the war. The trouble is obvious, known to the whole civilized world and solved by the whole world. But, like everything in life, not all aspects of this problem are obvious and unambiguous.
Dozens of countries have welcomed people leaving Ukraine. They were helped in every way in their desire to escape from the horrors of war.
And what about those citizens of Ukraine who, by the will of fate, found themselves on the territory of the Russian Federation, but really want to leave it? What challenges do they have to answer?
Based on our practice, the most common problem is the lack of valid documents and/or coercion to obtain Russian citizenship. And in case of refusal to receive it, it is highly likely to be placed in a temporary detention Center for foreign citizens as a person who is on the territory of the Russian Federation without legal grounds. It is logical that such content becomes indefinite in view of the same lack of valid documents. The result is that TSVSIGS are filled with citizens of Ukraine without clear prospects, without a clear legal status.
On September 29, 2023, the President of the Russian Federation signs Decree No. 734 on the procedure for departure/entry of Ukrainian citizens into the territory of the Russian Federation. Paragraphs 3 and 4 of this Decree are essentially an attempt to resolve the problem outlined above by authorizing departure on expired documents and/or issuing some kind of identity certificate that allows you to legally leave the territory of the Russian Federation. But with a reservation – only if a third state agrees to it (for obvious reasons, they are not expelled to the territory of Ukraine).
Currently, we are reliably aware of at least two cases of waiting for such consent from third States (and there is every reason to believe that their number will grow). At the Upper Lars checkpoint (the border of the Russian Federation-Georgia), 7 Ukrainian citizens are waiting, who only have identity certificates. Another Ukrainian is in the same situation on the Russian-Kazakh border. Who should ask and justify to third States the desirability and even the necessity of such consent remains unclear. Third countries themselves are very wary of expelling foreign citizens from the recognized dictatorship of the Russian Federation without proper documents. To date, we are not aware of any cases of obtaining the expected consent. There is no reaction from the Ukrainian authorities, although it could be decisive.
Under the above circumstances, it turns out that the aggressor State, the dictatorial state is making efforts to resolve the humanitarian problem, and the States of the Free World, declaring the highest value of human life and freedom, ignore it.
An alternative to an indefinite, hopeless wait in conditions of actual deprivation of liberty (detention in a CSIG) can be an emotional decision to accept Russian citizenship. And this may very likely be followed by a "voluntary-compulsory" dispatch to the front.
Another significant problem is the reduction of available transfer points.
Thus, the Latvian authorities recently announced the suspension from October 16 for an indefinite period of operation of two land checkpoints on the border with the Russian Federation. A certain decision of the government of the Russian Federation, which could complicate the situation on the border, is named as the basis. At the same time, the fate of Ukrainian refugees trying to leave the territory of Russia is not taken into account.
Based on the trend of events, in the not so distant future, we can expect a complete closure of the borders of the Baltic states with the Russian Federation, which will significantly complicate the situation of Ukrainian citizens seeking to leave the territory of the Russian Federation.
We have no explanation or suggestion about the reasons for such neglect of the growing humanitarian problem.
UnMode continues to monitor the situation with the return of Ukrainian ex-prisoners from the Russian Federation, to provide them with all possible support, as well as to make every effort to ensure equal access to the exercise of their rights, freedoms and legitimate interests of former convicts. There is no place for discrimination on any grounds in a developed civilized society!