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Refugee attitudes - Russia

Language, ethnicity, orthodox #Christianity, #culture and traditions are closely woven into each other and often are the factors influencing the various decisions of citizens in the Russian Federation. Russia has always been a country known for sexual and labour exploitation even before the fallout of the USSR. Since the fallout of the USSR, the country has opened doors for refugees. But obtaining refugee status in Russia remains a struggle wherein there have also been cases where Russia did not accept the asylum application of even 1 Syrian refugee while it did grant temporary asylum. This is despite the fact that Russia played a major role in instigating civil war and conflict in the middle-eastern region; collateral damage of which was the 2015 arrival of Syrian refugees into the #EU. Russia supported the regime of President #Assad who has been accused of ethnic cleansing and using chemical weapons on its citizens including children in #Syria.

While Russia refuses to grant protection to refugees from Syria and #Afghanistan asylum seekers from #Ukraine are treated differently. This is primarily because of the similarity in ethnicity and language, that has allowed Ukrainians benefit from the Programme of Assistance for the Voluntary Resettlement of Compatriots. This programme allowed them to obtain residence permits and citizenship easily.

Further, the region is also extremely unsafe for #LGBTI refugees since the semi-autonomous region of the #Chechen Republic is considered a non-gay zone. In 2013, Russia implemented a law banning the promotion of non-traditional sexual relations to minors. This is also known as the ‘#Gay Propaganda’ Law which restricted the dissemination of information through online medium or publishing that may promote/display affection to a homosexual relationship to Children.

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