The five men fled to avoid the partial mobilization announced by Vladimir Putin in September. But South Korea denies them refugee status.
They fled Russia and are now stuck at an airport in South Korea. Five Russian men have been living between the departures area and duty-free area of Incheon International Airport since October and are barred from entering South Korean territory, CNN said on Saturday.
The five people left Russia after Vladimir Putin announced the partial mobilization of Russian reserve forces to fight in Ukraine.
One meal a day
However, their applications for refugee status were rejected by the South Korean Ministry of Justice. These applications “do not deserve to be considered” because rejecting the mobilization order would not allow them to obtain refugee status, their lawyer told American media.
For Lee Jong-Chan, however, they should benefit from political refugee status as the Russian invasion of Ukraine is “condemned by international law.”
The people appealed the ministry’s decision, and several human rights groups called on the government to recognize them as refugees. But while they wait for the proceedings to proceed, they are forced to remain at the airport.
The five men have been living on “one meal a day”, “bread and drinks” for more than three months. They can shower and hand wash their clothes but have “limited access to medical care and no support for their mental health, which is important given their precarious situation,” Lee Jong-Chan said.
Like them, many Russians tried to flee their country after the partial mobilization announced by Vladimir Putin. According to CNN, more than 200,000 people fled to Georgia, Kazakhstan and the European Union in the week following Moscow’s announcement.