Ecently, the Border Service of the Federal Security Service of Russia published data that 21,680 citizens of Turkmenistan entered Russia in 2020. Moreover, the absolute majority - 19,431 people left Turkmenistan before the introduction of the lockdown, the closure of borders and the cancellation of all regular flights.
From January to March 2021, 1323 citizens of Turkmenistan entered Russia.
Our source reports that while the Turkmen authorities deny the existence of the coronavirus in the country, Ashgabat insists that flights between Turkmenistan and Russia should not be resumed for the foreseeable future.
According to his message, the number of people wishing to leave their historical homeland and live in Russia has recently increased. There has been an increase in applications submitted to the Russian Embassy in Turkmenistan with a request to include them in the lists of passengers on flights to Moscow.
Every day, the Russian Embassy in Ashgabat accepts an average of 20 applications (approximately 400 per month).
In spring, the demand for air tickets from citizens increased to 600-700 people per month. In summer days, this figure reaches up to 1000 people.
To the regret of the migrants, the number of flights from Turkmenistan is very limited: only 1-2 times a month. As you know, the aircraft can take no more than 176 passengers.
According to sources, the exit queue consists of 245 people. They are allowed to leave by the Turkmen authorities. Documents for the departure of another 420 citizens are being coordinated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan.
About 170 of them are bipatrides. 460 citizens have the status of an migrant. The rest have a residence permit or they intend to leave for family/medical reasons.
Our activist reports that this is only a small part of the Turkmen who have decided to leave their homeland. A considerable part of the migrants is still afraid to go to Russia. It turned out that they are aware of the problems with the paperwork of other migrants in Russia, as well as the incident that occurred at the Sheremetyevo airport with their compatriot R. Choliev. These citizens are planning to travel to Turkey, Europe or neighboring states, in the hope that they will not be forcibly returned to Turkmenistan from there.
A local sociologist educated abroad (on condition of anonymity) called the current situation: "a covert way of reprisals against the population".
Turkmen Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights