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Ukraine war sparked dramatic surge of Russians fleeing homeland for New York, adding to migrant crunch


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

The number of Russians with cases in 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 nationals in New York immigration court for the federal fiscal year covering Oct. 31, 2021 to Sept. 30, 2022.

As of Sunday, the number of asylum cases involving Russian nationals jumped to 8,002 for the current fiscal year running from Oct. 1, 2022, to this Sept. 30.

Meanwhile, data shows there were only a few hundred cases of Russians in asylum/deportation proceedings going back every year to 2001 — meaning the numbers surged nearly 10-fold since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022.

The US 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 migrant flow.

The mayor, immigration experts and city lawmakers representing the post-Soviet Union diaspora say the Russia-Ukraine war is driving an exodus of citizens from both countries to the US

Waves of Russians have been making their way to the Mexico-US border seeking asylum — and have ended up in New York City, which has the largest Russian-speaking immigrant population, including many Jewish refugees, officials noted.

“Since the onset of the Russian invasion in Ukraine, New York City has seen a notable surge in the number of Russians and Ukrainians seeking asylum amid this global humanitarian crisis,” said mayoral spokeswoman Kayla Mamelak.

“We have welcomed these individuals and families, just as we have for the over 110,000 asylum seekers who have sought shelter in our city since the spring of 2022.”

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

“We have welcomed these individuals and families, just as we have for the over 110,000 asylum seekers who have sought shelter in our city since the spring of 2022.”

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

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

But Krikorian said being opposed to the war or avoiding the military draft in Russia are not necessarily grounds for asylum — and that many are here illegally.

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

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

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

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 migrant shelter.

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