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Number of Russians Renouncing Citizenship Hits 3-Year High

A passport of a Russian citizen. Stanislav Krasilnikov / TASS

The number of Russian nationals who have renounced their citizenship reached a three-year high in 2022, Russia’s Foreign Ministry told media Wednesday.

Tens of thousands of Russians moved abroad in the wake of the February 2022 invasion of Ukraine and the country's "partial" mobilization of reservists in the fall.

A total of 4,306 Russians turned to diplomatic missions and consulates around the world to give up their passports last year, according to the RBC news website.

The figure marks an increase from 4,055 renouncements of Russian citizenships in 2021 and 3,877 in 2020.

The Foreign Ministry attributed last year's increase to Covid-related restrictions at Russian diplomatic missions abroad in 2020-21.

“Considering sanitary and epidemiological requirements in 2020-21, when there were limits on visitors, there were no particularly visible changes in the number of applications to renounce Russian citizenship abroad [in 2022],” it said.

Within Russia, the Interior Ministry said it granted 40 requests to renounce citizenships in 2022.

At the same time, the number of Russian passports granted by Moscow fell slightly in 2022 after seeing growth in the previous four years.

Ukrainian citizens were among the top nationalities to have received Russian passports last year amid the Kremlin’s Russification campaign in captured southeastern Ukrainian regions that President Vladimir Putin claimed to have annexed last fall.

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