War in Ukraine: France grants asylum to 19 deserters of the Russian army

by Le Figaro

Russian soldiers who refused to fight in Ukraine were granted refugee status by the National Asylum Court in France in July 2023.

Since the beginning of the year, 19 Russian citizens have been granted asylum in France as announced by the National Asylum Court (CNDA) on March 22, 2024. Russian soldiers who refused to fight in Ukraine were already granted refugee status by the CNDA in June 2023. According to the court’s decisions, which were "read out between January 1 and mid-March 2024, 19 asylum applications" were granted, the CNDA told AFP news agency on Friday.

In July, the court adopted a doctrine according to which Russian nationals are granted refugee status if they can "prove that they face a personal risk of persecution if they return to Russia due to their non-compliance with the partial mobilization in the context of the war waged by the Russian armed forces against Ukraine".

European directive

This doctrine, the first in France to refer to deserters from the Russian army, is based on an EU directive of 13 December 2011 and a ruling of the Court of Justice of the European Union on 26 February 2015. However, the Court rejected the asylum application of a Russian, a deserter from the Russian army, because "the declarations and documents submitted could not prove that the applicant had been mobilized in connection with Russia’s war in Ukraine".

"To receive protection under the Geneva Refugee Convention, "one must prove one’s mobilizability through precise elements such as documents or detailed and personalized declarations", the Vice-President of the CNDA, Christine Massé-Degois, had explained.

Le Figaro, Guerre en Ukraine: la France a accordé l’asile à 19 déserteurs de l’armée russe en 2024. Published on March 22, 2024. Translation by Connection e.V.: https://www.lefigaro.fr/international/guerre-en-ukraine-la-france-a-accorde-l-asile-a-19-deserteurs-de-l-armee-russe-en-2024-20240322

Keywords:    ⇒ Asylum   ⇒ CO and Asylum   ⇒ Conscientious Objection   ⇒ Desertion   ⇒ France   ⇒ Jugdement   ⇒ Russia