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Russians flee to Mongolia amid Russia-Ukraine war

In the first nine months of the year, Mongolia received a total of 211,000 tourists. This is about 188,300 or 9.3 times higher compared to the same period last year. Specifically, the number of incoming Chinese tourists surged 68.5%, Russian tourists 11.1 times, Korean tourists 44.1 times, and tourists from Kazakhstan saw a massive spike of 28.4 times.

Data shows a new wave of emigration from Russia, which began after the Ukraine invasion. Mongolians also recorded and posted the mass influx of Russian citizens entering Mongolia on social media platforms.

Most of the Russian citizens crossing the Mongolia-Russia border are applying for temporary resident status or, in some cases, an extension of stay. Since late September, thousands of Russian citizens had fled to Mongolia, seeking a temporary stay.

However, Mongolia is not the only destination for Russian citizens and families fleeing the country. In September alone, Kyrgyzstan registered the entries of about 22,000 Russian citizens. Kazakhstan recently received 200,000 Russian citizens. Georgia, Finland, and Norway also reported an increase in sudden Russian migration.

Despite these geopolitical pressures, Ulaanbaatar aims to maintain people-to-people relations versus fully supporting one side in the conflict. The Economist Intelligence Unit’s index assessing democracies, Mongolia ranked 62nd in 2019. During a recent visit to Mongolia, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called the country a ‘symbol of peace in a restless planet’.



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