Russian nationals have beaten a five-year record for entry into Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Mongolia. The data published by the Federal Security Service (FSB)’s border troops was calculated by Novaya Gazeta Europa (New Newspaper Europe).

An article entitled “Russians Beat 5-Year Record for Departing to Central Asia, Armenia, and Mongolia”, in particular, notes that  Russians left their country for neighboring countries and CIS member nations 8.4 million times, which is 4.7 million cases more than in 2021 when there was COVID.

Russian nationals reportedly crossed the border on the way out 24.3 million times in total last year, 2.9 million cases more than in 2021.  The most popular destinations were Abkhazia (recognized by Russia to be a separate nation from Georgia), Turkey, Kazakhstan, the UAE, and Egypt.  A total of 15.1 million departures were to these countries last year, according to Novaya Gazeta Europa.

Russia-neighboring countries and CIS member states that do not share a border with Russia (excluding Belarus and Moldova) faced a massive influx of Russian nationals last year: the number of people departed to those nations reportedly reached 8.4 million (130-percent increase compared to 2021)

According to the report, the influx of Russian to Tajikistan last year increased by 212 percent compared to 2021.  

Despite its remoteness from Russia, Tajikistan has also become a place of migration for Russians. reported on October 11 last year that tickets in the direction of Moscow-Dushanbe rose from 150 to 2000 US dollars.  Rooms in hotels are booked for the coming weeks, and an unusually large number of Russians appeared on the streets.  The arrival of foreigners also caused an increase in rental housing, as in other countries of Central Asia.

Meanwhile, “Russians Beat 5-Year Record for Departing to Central Asia, Armenia, and Mongolia” says the third quarter of the year when mobilization was declared saw most people leaving Russia.  A total of 3.5 million people departed Russia to those countries between July and September, followed by 2.1 million between October and December.

Over the past five year, the influx of Russians has been record high to Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Mongolia.

The number of times Russian nationals departed to Israel reportedly doubled last year, growing to over 100,000.

The publication notes that this growth does not mean millions of Russians left the country forever.  Some of them often return, and some might have crossed the border multiple times.  However, demographers Yulia Florinskaya and Alexey Raksha estimated last year’s emigration wave to stand between 400,000 and 800,000 people.

Over 100,000 reportedly opted to stay in Georgia, and at least 100,000 more in Kazakhstan.  A total of 50,000–100,000 people left for Serbia, and around 40,000 for Armenia. Israel, Kyrgyzstan, and the EU welcomed around 35,000 Russians each, they say.

Last year also saw massive growth in Russians leaving for Asia: Thailand, Sri-Lanka, and India. The record number of travels, even compared to pre-COVID years, was to the UAE.

The FSB also recorded 1.1 million departures to the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk “People’s Republics” in Q2 and Q3 of 2022.  It is also reported that 470,000 Russians entered Ukraine last year.