Support The Moscow Times!

Ukrainian Refugees in Southern Russia Face Tensions, Rising Housing Costs

Evacuees from Kherson gather upon their arrival at the railway station in Anapa, southern Russia. AP / TASS

The arrival of more than 100,000 Ukrainians in southern Russia following Kyiv's recapture of the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson has driven up housing prices and sparked tensions with local residents, independent media reported Thursday.

Russia’s military estimates it had evacuated 115,000 residents of Kherson — nearly half of the city’s pre-war population — before its withdrawal in November. Kyiv and rights groups decry the evacuations as forced deportations and potential war crimes.

A report by the Novaya Vkladka and Govorit NeMoskva news sites said Kherson evacuees are the only Ukrainian refugees to be allowed Russian government-issued housing vouchers to purchase homes in southern Russia’s Krasnodar and other regions.

Officials have not commented on why refugees from Ukraine's other three partially-Russian-occupied regions have not been granted housing certificates.

Interviews conducted by the news outlets revealed a high level of mistrust for the new arrivals among Krasnodar region residents. Locals accused refugees of unruly behavior, according to Novaya Vkladka and Govorit NeMoskva.

Housing vouchers have also fueled price hikes in new Krasnodar region homes to nearly double the government-imposed standard.

The Krasnodar region administration estimates more than 6,500 Kherson refugee families have received 19.4 billion rubles ($250 million) worth of housing certificates as of February.

… we have a small favor to ask.

As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just 2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.


Read more