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Russia Releases Ukrainians Set for Deportation – Kommersant

A Russian Investigative Committee officer checks a Ukrainian passport. Vladimir Gerdo / TASS

Russian courts are releasing Ukrainians facing deportations because Kyiv has cut diplomatic ties with Russia after Moscow launched its full-scale invasion, the Kommersant business daily reported Monday. 

Hundreds of Ukrainian citizens have been stuck in limbo at detention centers in and around Moscow awaiting deportations that were halted by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The war “makes it impossible for foreign nationals held in temporary migrant detention centers and who have identification documents to cross the border,” the Moscow branch of Russia’s Federal Court Marshals Service said, according to Kommersant. 

Ukrainian migrants without identification documents are unable to file their papers due to closed consulates, the publication’s report continued. 

“We’re considering filing appeals in courts to stop the execution of forced expulsion orders,” the court marshals service added in a letter to human rights activists.

Courts have since July 1 granted reprieves to 51 Ukrainians held in and around Moscow and St. Petersburg, the Moscow Helsinki Group, a veteran Russian human rights organization which received the court marshals’ response to its information request, told Kommersant. 

The Moscow Helsinki Group accuses the courts of foot-dragging and holding some Ukrainian migrants for their alleged anti-Russian social media posts. 

Another 10 Ukrainians held in the temporary migrant detention center in the town of Sakharovo have been denied release on various grounds.

“It’s a federal issue,” Roman Kiselyov, head of legal programs at the Moscow Helsinki Group, told Kommersant. “The picture is murkier in other regions.”

Rights officials and detention centers in at least three other Russian regions told Kommersant that they were unaware of court orders to release Ukrainian migrants held for deportation. 

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