Risks of Accepting Russian Deserters

Thousands of Russian men have fled across the border to neighboring states since Putin announced so-called “partial mobilization” on Sept. 21 for the war in Ukraine. This poses certain risks for the countries that continue to accept Russian citizens.

The prospect of giving asylum to Russian deserters along with Ukrainian refugees is absurd, and the Ukrainian communities in European countries have already voiced concern. The Russians who have accepted their government’s policies for more than half a year of the most bloody war are now leaving not because they are dissidents but simply for fear of getting killed on the battlefield.

Continuing to accept the Russians will unlikely undermine the conscription campaign in Russia but will cause security problems in the hosting countries.