NewsUkrainians escape war: Thousands cross into Moldova illegally

Ukrainians escape war: Thousands cross into Moldova illegally

War in Ukraine. Illustrative photo
War in Ukraine. Illustrative photo
Images source: © East News | LIBKOS

10 July 2024 20:26

Since the beginning of the war, around 23,500 Ukrainians have illegally crossed into Moldova, reports the local section of Radio Free Europe, citing border guard data. Those detained are not punished, and many continue further into Europe. "I am fleeing from death," emphasises Vasyl, who is heading to Poland.

From 24 February 2022 until 31 May 2024, approximately 23,500 Ukrainians have illegally entered Moldova. These are men of conscription age, as this group faces restrictions at the border with Moldova.

Ukrainians are fleeing to Moldova

According to the statistics of the local services, which are referenced by Radio Europa Libera Moldova, around 15,000 Ukrainians aged 18-59 have crossed into Moldova illegally from the start of the war until the end of last year. After Ukrainian authorities tightened mobilisation conditions in April, the number of escapees increased.

Radio Europa Libera Moldova notes that fleeing mobilisation in Ukraine, which is penalised, is not treated as a crime in Moldova. As explained by the head of the Moldovan border guard, Ruslan Galusca, Ukrainians who were detained immediately after illegally crossing the border or who officially sought international protection at a station or the migration inspectorate "were not punished for illegal entry."

Formally, foreigners can use four types of legal protection in Moldova: refugee status, humanitarian protection, temporary protection (introduced last year), and political asylum.

In the first 14 months since the introduction of temporary protection, almost 12,800 Ukrainians have used this right.

They continue on further

The portal reports that many Ukrainians crossing the border with Moldova illegally do so intending to continue their journey to European Union countries, citing the story of Vasyl.

Vasyl, a Ukrainian who arrived in Moldova in April and is heading to Poland, admitted that he paid £8,000 to traffickers who transported him across the Dniester on a motorboat.

"I am not fleeing because I do not love Ukraine. I am fleeing from death. It hurts me to see people dying in my country, and I do not want to be next," he said.

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