Russian family seeks asylum in Ukraine because of persecution over social media posts

On the evening of July 1st, at one of the checkpoints on the border of Ukraine and Russia, a Russian family asked for refugee status in Ukraine, according to a press report from the State Border Service of Ukraine.

It is reported that while passing through border control, a 32-year-old Russian citizen and his 33-year-old wife, also a Russian citizen, spoke to employees of the State Border Service of Ukraine and applied for refugee status. They came from a neighboring country, on foot, and with a small child.

“During the conversation, the Russian citizens said that, due to political persecution, they were forced to request refugee status. The persecution of the Russians began after the husband made known his position with regard to a change of power in Russia. He was prosecuted because of this, and is now being subjected to further harassment,” the report said.

Press Secretary of the State Border Service of Ukraine Oleh Slobodyan noted that the head of the family is a non-public personage and expressed his views only on social networks, as reported on Hromadske radio. He added that, according to the Russian woman, her husband is now under investigation in Russia. He has a written order instructing him not to leave the country.

On the question of whether these citizens can be extradited to the Russian Federation if Russia so requests, since the head of the family has a written order to not leave the city, Oleh Slobodyan explained that if a person asks for political asylum, certain rules apply.

According to Oleg Slobodyan, the family that has asked for asylum will stay in Ukraine for 90 days. During this time, the Immigration Service must decide if they will be granted refugee status.

Earlier, President Petro Poroshenko said that Ukraine will provide asylum to Russian citizens who are persecuted for political reasons at home.

  political asylum, refugee status, Russia, Ukraine