Russian Federation


Operation: Opération: Russian Federation



Latest update of camps and office locations 21  Nov  2016. By clicking on the icons on the map, additional information is displayed.

Key Figures

2016 end-year results
8,000 refugees and stateless people received assistance from UNHCR’s legal partners and independent asylum practitioners
232 judicial and quasi-judicial positions were provided to courts (double compared to 2015), helping with the refugee status determination and naturalization processes
227 stateless individuals were supported in the naturalization process
102 cases (124 individuals) were submitted for resettlement, and a total of 104 people departed for resettlement during the calendar year
2017 planning figures
100% of cases of potential refoulement will be prevented
100% of applicants will have access to refugee status determination (RSD) procedures
100% of people of concern will have access to national primary health care facilities
14,000 refugees and asylum-seekers and 2,500 stateless people will receive legal assistance
500 Governmental staff will be trained on RSD procedures

People of Concern Personnes relevant de la compétence du HCR

Decrease in
2016 322,856
2015 418,411
2014 354,450


[["Refugees",228990],["Asylum-seekers",3039],["Returned refugees",56],["Stateless",90771]]
Loading ...

Russian Federation

< Back
2016 {"categories":[2012,2013,2014,2015,2016,2017],"budget":[10.09417472,8.43188109,7.08626894,6.115651963,5.61137723,5.88378121],"expenditure":[7.45743621,5.96699989,4.81179465,3.81659835,4.32731972,null]} {"categories":[2012,2013,2014,2015,2016,2017],"p1":[9.58747631,7.83837767,6.39498853,5.432067327,5.18089139,5.24742256],"p2":[0.50669841,0.59350342,0.69128041,0.683584636,0.43048584,0.63635865],"p3":[null,null,null,null,null,null],"p4":[null,null,null,null,null,null]} {"categories":[2012,2013,2014,2015,2016,2017],"p1":[6.9871334,5.44928767,4.27754774,3.20615022,3.92720689,null],"p2":[0.47030281,0.51771222,0.53424691,0.61044813,0.40011283,null],"p3":[null,null,null,null,null,null],"p4":[null,null,null,null,null,null]}
Loading ...

  • 2014
  • 2015
  • 2016
  • 2017

Working environment

The Russian Federation continues to be affected by the situation in Ukraine and large-scale arrival of Ukrainians, transfer of the functions of the Federal Migration Service (FMS) to the Ministry of the Interior, as well as by more global developments, such as migration and refugee crisis in Europe and national security concerns.

The Government continued to lead the operational response for asylum-seekers from Ukraine.

Asylum-seekers from countries other than Ukraine experienced longer waiting periods to access asylum procedures, and were vulnerable to risks associated with the absence of relevant documentation, such as detention and hampered access to public services.

UNHCR and its partners implemented awareness-raising activities and provided legal assistance to stateless individuals or those at risk of statelessness to assist them in regularizing their status. The 2002 Citizenship Law, which provides simplified naturalization for certain categories of stateless people from the former Soviet Union, was extended to 1 January, 2020.

Population trends

  • The Russian Federation hosted 272,000 registered refugees, including 269,000 Ukrainians, 1,300 Syrians and more than 700 Afghans. Approximately 800,000 Ukrainians enjoyed other forms of legal stay.
  • Since January 2014, some 421,000 Ukrainians have applied for temporary asylum in the Russian Federation. In 2016, approximately 21,600 applied for temporary asylum and 240 for refugee status.
  • An estimated of 90,800 people are stateless, according to the 2010 national census.

Achievements and impact

  • UNHCR strengthened litigation of non-access to asylum procedures through courts. UNHCR implemented a number of capacity-building initiatives in refugee protection for migration State authorities, detention centres, the Bailiff’s Office, Ombudsmen’s Offices, State-run temporary accommodation centres (TACs), and NGOs.
  • In order to increase opportunities for local integration of people of concern, UNHCR established two integration centres in the Moscow region to provide Russian language classes. A similar centre was already functioning in St. Petersburg. UNHCR also supported an integration centre, ran by the Afghan diaspora, providing Russian language classes to Afghan refugees.
  • In order to improve public opinion towards refugees and asylum-seekers, UNHCR signed memorandums of understanding with seven universities in Moscow and across Russia to organize public lectures on refugee issues, develop courses on refugee law and provide legal aid to people of concern, with UNHCR’s assistance.

Unmet needs

  • Limited outreach capacity beyond Moscow region, hampering UNHCR’s ability to conduct a more thorough analysis of people of concern in the Russian Federation.
  • UNHCR was only able to cover legal counselling in 27, out of 39, counselling points. A serious constraint for resettlement remained the lack of places for emergency cases. 

Operational context and population trends

Armed conflict in south-eastern Ukraine continues to trigger a steady movement of people of concern into the Russian Federation. The Russian Government is leading the operational response for Ukrainian arrivals through the Federal Migration Service (FMS), and EMERCOM, the Ministry in charge of emergencies.

According to the latest government figures as of June 30, 2015, since the beginning of the conflict, 342,357 Ukrainians have applied for temporary asylum (TA) and 5,966 for refugee status (RS). In addition, the FMS received over 417,000 applications for other forms of legal stay, including residency permits, the compatriot’s return programme and naturalization.

In the first half of 2015, the FMS received 100,001 applications for RS and TA and made 100,664 decisions, taking into consideration applications pending from 2014, including 98,925 for Ukrainians, 845 for Syrians and 425 for Afghans. In total, 97,701 Ukrainians, 333 Syrians and 118 Afghans were granted asylum (either TA or RS). 

UNHCR will continue to work with the authorities, aiming to improve access to and quality of the national status determination procedure and promote integration opportunities for recognized refugees and TA holders. In addition, the Office plans to conduct RSD for a limited number of vulnerable cases for third-country resettlement, as well as to facilitate voluntary repatriation.

Although a number of legislative changes helped reduce the number of stateless people in the country, the problem has not been fully resolved. In the absence of official statistics, the 2010 population census referred to 178,000 self-declared stateless individuals. UNHCR will continue awareness raising activities and legal assistance through partner organizations for individuals seeking to regularize their status.  

Key priorities in 2016

  • Pursue the establishment of cooperation with the Border Guards Service to ensure unhindered access to transit areas for all people of concern;
  • Work with FMS staff to improve reception conditions and temporary accommodation centres (TACs);
  • Train government officials  to ensure access to quality RSD procedures and individual documentation;
  • Build partners’ capacity to provide quality legal services to asylum-seekers, refugees and stateless people;
  • Train partners to ensure that vulnerable individuals are identified and referred to relevant services and for potential resettlement;
  • Support the Government in developing legislation and integration programmes for recognized refugees;
  • Lobby with the Government for accession to international instruments, as well as legislative amendments to further reduce and prevent statelessness;
  • Lobby with authorities to facilitate naturalization procedures for refugees and stateless people and advocate for their access to social services;
  • Maximize outreach to refugee communities and stateless individuals;
  • Facilitate local integration for recognized refugees and individuals who were granted temporary asylum.