Forbes: Up to 700,000 citizens have left Russia since mobilization declared

Russian passports presented at the Finnish-Russian border.
Russian passports presented at the Finnish-Russian border. Source: SCANPIX/EPA/JUHA METSO

As many as 700,000 people have left the Russian Federation since the mobilization announced on September 21, Forbes' Russian-language portal reports, while other sources put the figure even higher, at around a million

Forbes reports (link in Russian) that the media has presented different assessments of the numbers of people who have left Russia since the announcement of the part-mobilization, estimated to affect around 300,000 Russian citizens and following military setbacks in Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

No breakdown of this figure is available to find out what proportion left the country for tourism purposes, however. Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland have instituted a ban on entry to Russian citizens holding Schengen Area tourist visas.

Russian ambassador to Finland Pavel Kuznetso announced on September 30 that 60,000 people had entered Finland since September 21, 80 percent of whom were in transit; According to the Finnish authorities, about 100 people applied for asylum

Head of the border guard Egert Belitšev said a week-and-a-half ago that 11,500 crossings per week in late August had fallen to 7,500 crossings in the preceding week, ie. the week mobilization was declared, though Estonia is prepared for the arrival of more Ukrainian citizens fleeing Russia's war there. An added complication has arisen at times in relation to the status of dual-citizens, while foreign minister Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa) said Tuesday that the state needs to be prepared for any provocative activity or even attempted mass crossings on the part of the Russian Federation.

In the period September 21-30, around 66,000 Russian citizens entered the EU as a whole, a rise of 30 percent on the preceding week, the EU's border guard authority, Frontex, reports, with the bulk of these coming via Finland and Estonia.

The surge was particularly strong in Finland's case; that country only put in a bar on Schengen tourist visa-holders entering the country from Russia, if they were citizens of that country, on Friday.

Meanwhile among non-EU nations which border the Russian Federation, a report of 200,000 Russian citizens having entered Kazakhstan between mobilization and Tuesday, October 4 has to be off-set against the 147,000 Russian citizens reported to have left the central Asian republic in the same time period.

Other estimates put the figure entering Kazakhstan in the week following September 21 at 98,000, with 53,000 arriving in Georgia over the same period.

The Georgian interior ministry has said around 10,000 people have been crossing the border into Georgia on a daily basis, a rise of 40-45 percent on the pre-mobilization period.

Border crossings are often congested; the Verkhnii Lars crossing on the Russo-Georgian border has seen wait times of four to five days, to enter Georgia.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte, Allan Aksim

Source: Forbes Russia, NEXTA

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