The war in Ukraine caused a dramatic increase in Russians fleeing their country to New York, adding to the immigration crisis.

A record number of Russians have fled their homeland and are seeking asylum in New York amid Vladimir Putin’s war against Ukraine, adding to the Big Apple’s massive migrant crisis, data obtained by the Post.

The number of Russians with cases in the New York State Immigration Court, which rules on asylum/deportation cases, has skyrocketed 158% over the past year, the data reveals.

There were 3,098 cases involving Russian citizens in New York immigration court during the federal fiscal year from October 31, 2021 to September 30, 2022.

As of Sunday, the number of asylum cases involving Russian citizens increased to 8,002 for the current fiscal year running from October 1, 2022 to September 30.

Meanwhile, data shows that there have only been a few hundred cases of Russians in asylum/deportation proceedings each year since 2001, meaning the numbers have increased almost 10-fold since the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022. .

U.S. Department of Justice immigration court statistics were retrieved by Mayor Eric Adams’ Office of Immigrant Affairs from Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse. City Hall is monitoring immigration court proceedings to track the flow of immigrants.

A Russian immigrant with her baby in Manhattan on September 2, 2023.GNMiller/NYPost

The city’s mayor, immigration experts and lawmakers representing the post-Soviet diaspora say the war between Russia and Ukraine is causing an exodus of citizens from both countries to the United States.

Waves of Russians have headed to the U.S.-Mexico border seeking asylum, ending up in New York City, which has the largest population of Russian-speaking immigrants, including many Jewish refugees, officials said.

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“Since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, New York City has seen a notable increase in the number of Russians and Ukrainians seeking asylum in the midst of this global humanitarian crisis,” said the mayor’s spokesperson Kayla Mamelak.

A record number of Russians are seeking asylum in New York City since Russian President Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine.A record number of Russians are seeking asylum in New York City since Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.GNMiller/NYPost

“We have welcomed these individuals and families, just as we have done with the more than 110,000 asylum seekers who have sought refuge in our city since spring 2022.”

Russian citizens are the sixth largest group of asylum seekers, or 3% of the total, followed by the city, behind the Central and South American countries Venezuela, Ecuador, Colombia, Peru and Mauritania in Africa, the mayor’s office says.

Ukrainians seeking asylum are tracked separately by the federal government’s special United for Ukraine parole program, which is not counted in the city’s country of origin data, city officials said.

Russian immigrant couple Natalia Subbotina and Maksim Subbotin outside the shelter at the Roosevelt Hotel on August 2, 2023.Russian immigrant couple Natalia Subbotina and Maksim Subbotin outside the shelter at the Roosevelt Hotel on August 2, 2023.Robert Miller

According to Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, a group that advocates for stricter border policies, Russians have joined the crowds arriving at the US-Mexico border seeking asylum.

But Krikorian said opposing war or avoiding conscription in Russia are not necessarily reasons to seek asylum, and that many are here illegally.

“Conscription is not explicitly a basis for asylum,” he said.

Krikorian said many Russians don’t like the authoritarian direction their country is taking, adding: “This is more of a ‘strike while the iron is hot’ thing.”

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“There is no doubt that it is related to the war with Ukraine,” he said.

During the current fiscal year there have been 8,002 asylum cases involving Russian citizens in New York City.During the current fiscal year there have been 8,002 asylum cases involving Russian citizens in New York City.Robert Miller

The Post reported last week that there were six Russian families staying at the Paul Hotel on West 29th Street, which was converted into a shelter for immigrants.

“We came here to avoid mobilization for war,” said Leila Usmanov, who fled Russia with her husband Ruslan Usmanov and their three children, ages 16, 10 and 3. “We didn’t want to fight against our own. “Ukrainians and Russians are the same people.”

Ukrainian-born Councilwoman Inna Vernikov, who represents the Russian-speaking southern Brooklyn enclaves of Brighton Beach, Manhattan Beach, Sheepshead Bay and Midwood, said she is “not at all surprised to see increases for Russian and Ukrainian citizens who They escape to the United States.”

“There is a terrible war in the region and, in fact, our asylum laws were designed specifically for these situations. Unfortunately, under [President] “With Biden’s open border, we have had people take advantage of our ‘generosity’ and seek asylum where there are no legitimate claims,” ​​Vernikov said.

“To date, New York City has accepted more than 110,000 immigrants from Haiti, Mexico, Colombia and Venezuela, and an overwhelming majority of their asylum cases have been rejected.”

Councilman Ari Kagan, a native of Belarus who immigrated to the United States as a Jewish refugee and who now represents predominantly Russian-speaking communities, including Coney Island, Bensonhurst, Gravesend and Sea Gate, said those “who come from the Russian Federation are against Putin. “They are against war.”

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Kagan added that while the men try to avoid being drafted, other Russian immigrants see the United States – and particularly New York – as an opportunity to improve their quality of life and economic circumstances in a city with a network of service support groups. social.

Although Kagan said she sympathizes with the plight of Russian immigrants, she insists that they (and all other immigrants) come to the United States legally, noting that New York is already overwhelmed by immigrants.

“Everything must be done according to the law,” he said.

Additional reporting by Jared Downing

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