Ukraine calls on EU not to grant asylum to Russians fleeing mobilization after fire in German hotel with Ukrainians

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Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights Dmytro Liubinets expressed the concern about the security situation in the countries where refugees from Ukraine are currently staying, especially in the situation “when Russian male citizens are leaving the Russian Federation en masse under the mobilization campaign announced by Putin and often rudely express their discontent and threaten Ukrainian women and children abroad with physical violence.”

He said Ukraine receives such reports and considers it unacceptable that “citizens fleeing from armed aggression in their own country become victims in places of temporary asylum.”

On Wednesday evening, October 19, 2022, a fire broke out in a house with Ukrainian refugees in Gros-Stremmkendorf, Germany. The head of the municipality of Gros-Stremmkendorf, Tino Schoman, said that they believe the fire was set deliberately. On the same day, police were checking the house in connection with another crime – graffiti with a swastika on the front door of the house painted by unknown persons.

At the time of the fire, there were 17 people in the building – 14 Ukrainians who fled the from the armed aggression of the Russian Federation and three employees of the German Red Cross, which is directly taking care of the building. Fortunately, all people there remained unharmed as they were able to leave the house in time.

“I call on the German authorities to conduct a full, impartial and prompt investigation of these facts, to ensure the resettlement of 14 Ukrainian refugees to a safer place, as well as to develop systematic solutions to ensure the safety of Ukrainian citizens.

An important element of such solutions should be a broad information campaign for Ukrainians and the availability of hotlines that Ukrainian citizens could call in case of threats or other incidents that could harm their lives and health. The peculiarity of threats from citizens of the Russian Federation or ethnic Russians is the absence of a language barrier for the offender and, often, the inability to promptly inform the police about the incident due to the lack of knowledge of German at the level of fluent communication by phone.  

Thus, in order to further avoid emergency situations, in particular in the countries of the European Union and to ensure stable and safe conditions for Ukrainian refugees in the EU, as the Ombudsman of Ukraine, I appeal to the governments of the European Union countries with a call to refrain from taking decisions on granting asylum to men of military age who evade mobilization in the Russian Federation until the conditions for safe stay in the EU countries are created for Ukrainian citizens, mostly women, children and the elderly, who suffered from the Russian aggression, in the conditions of continued shelling of Ukrainian cities and civilian critical infrastructure by the Russian Federation and the impossibility of returning home,” Liubinets wrote.


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