Melnyk fumes: broad support for asylum for Russian deserters

Melnyk foams
Broad support for asylum for Russian deserters

Russia’s President Putin is conscripting hundreds of thousands of young Russians into the army, some trying to escape by fleeing. Ampel and Union agree: These young men deserve asylum. However, the Ukrainian Ambassador Melnyk sees things completely differently.

After the partial mobilization in Russia, politicians from government and opposition parties campaigned for easier admission of Russian conscientious objectors and deserters to Germany. Lower Saxony’s Prime Minister Stephan Weil said on “ntv Frühstart”: “The people who are now resisting being drafted are incredibly brave and refuse to take part in a war of aggression, in a criminal war. To support such people, such Giving people sanctuary, I really take that for granted.”

In the process, Weil criticized the Ukrainian ambassador to Germany, Andriy Melnyk, who had described it as a “catastrophic decision” should Germany make this decision. Weil said: “To be honest, I don’t understand Mr. Melnyk not only on this issue.” Weil emphasized that it was “an act of rebellion” to resist being drafted: “For me, that’s the classic case where we also have to grant asylum.”

Melnyk had described calls for asylum for Russian conscientious objectors as a “wrong approach”. He wrote on Twitter: “Young Russians who don’t want to go to war must finally overthrow Putin and his racist regime instead of running off and enjoying dolce vita in the West.”

Faeser open to asylum

However, Weil’s position is also shared by the Greens. The First Parliamentary Secretary of the Greens parliamentary group, Irene Mihalic, told the “Rheinische Post”: “Anyone who does not want to take part as a soldier in Putin’s murderous war of aggression against Ukraine, which violates international law, and therefore flees Russia, must be granted asylum in Germany .”

SPD faction deputy Dirk Wiese told the newspaper that the stricter penalties that threatened people if they were withdrawn from conscription “I already consider the current legal situation to be sufficient grounds for asylum.” The deputy chairman of the Union faction, Johann Wadephul, told the Funke media group that humanitarian visas must now be interpreted generously and comprehensively. “This must also apply to soldiers who openly oppose the Putin regime.”

After the Kremlin announced that 300,000 reservists had been called up, many young men tried to escape from Russia. There were protests in Russia against the measure with hundreds of arrests. Federal Minister of the Interior Nancy Faeser had said about an admission of conscientious objectors and deserters in the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung”: Deserters threatened by severe repression usually receive international protection in Germany. “Anyone who courageously opposes the regime of President Vladimir Putin and therefore puts themselves in the greatest danger can apply for asylum in Germany because of political persecution.” However, the granting of asylum is a case-by-case decision, which also includes a security check.

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