Dec 22, 2009

Russian soldier asks for asylum in Georgia

The soldier of the Russian occupant army stationed in the village of Perevi, Sachkhere district, Georgia, has escaped from his unit. Dmitry Khrikhev asks Georgian government for asylum.

The soldier met with the Minister of Refugees of Georgia to explain the reasons of his decision and ask for help.

This is the third soldier of the Russian army since last year, who has abandoned the place of dislocation and asked Georgia for political asylum. Sergeant Glukhov was the first who escaped from the army and since then he lives in Georgia. He complained about unbearable conditions in the army and mistreat from his commanders. Sergeant Artemiev was the second to abandon the division.

The Ministry of Refugees and Resettlement will begin discussion of the Russian soldier`s application today. Dmitry Khripun, 25, asked for asylum yesterday at a Georgian police station near the village of Perevi, which has been occupied by Russian military units since last year`s five-day military conflict between Russia and Georgia.

Georgian authorities immediately transferred Khripun to Tbilisi, where Migration Minister Koba Subeliani met with him.

Khripun told journalists after the meeting that his decision to ask for political asylum was morally motivated. He said was unable `to stand the current lawlessness in South Ossetia any longer.`

Khripun is the third soldier who has fled Russian occupant army and asked political asylum in Georgia.

Georgian authorities say the required procedures will take four months to determine the status of a refugee to the Russian soldier.