Hundreds of thousands of Russians are pouring out of the country to avoid recruitment. Many of them are apparently looking for a future in Germany. German embassies are reporting around 30 times more visa requests than before the mobilization. The diplomatic missions cannot cope with that.
Since the Russian mobilization, the German embassies in Armenia, Kazakhstan, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Belarus have registered a sharp increase in visa requests from Russian citizens. Thousands of requests for entry permits to Germany have been received by the German missions in Yerevan, Astana, Tbilisi, Baku and Minsk since September 21, 2022, according to the Foreign Office, as the "Spiegel" reported.
Dates for hearings could no longer be assigned. While the German embassy in the Georgian capital Tbilisi registered 10 to 20 applications from Russian nationals per month in the past few months, from the day of mobilization until the middle of this week there were already more than 300 inquiries from Russians who wanted to travel to Germany.
The Foreign Office is currently examining an increase in its workforce in the five cities, according to the "Spiegel". In total, more than 200,000 Russians have traveled to neighboring countries since the mobilization - around 100,000 to Kazakhstan alone. Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland have already issued entry bans for Russian tourists and also for Russian citizens who have Schengen visas.
The Russian authorities have also reacted to the exodus: For example, they restricted access to a region on the border with Georgia. The leader of the Russian region of North Ossetia, Sergei Meniajlo, signed a decree restricting the passage of passenger vehicles through the region, except for locals and tourists. The authorities also set up a "mobile" recruitment office on the border with Georgia to intercept those trying to evade conscription by the army.