Georgia Lets in Six Ukrainians Stuck for Almost 10 Days While Leaving Russia

Monday, 28 August 2023

Georgian border guards have finally allowed six Ukrainian citizens to enter the country, many of whom were taken by the Russians from occupied Kherson Oblast and who were stuck at the border trying to leave Russia.

Human rights organisation UnMode activists reported that Georgian border guards eventually let six Ukrainians who initially had been denied entry on 17 August into the country.

"We are taking the guys to a safe place; after more than a week in the open air in the buffer zone between the two borders, the guys need a hot shower and food," the organisation said on its Facebook page on the evening of 27 August.

They also posted photos of Ukrainian citizens in Georgia with their faces blurred.


Five of them are reportedly convicts from Kherson Oblast who were taken by the Russians during their retreat and placed in Russian prisons to serve the remainder of their sentences. Another is a Ukrainian who tried to escape the occupation through Russia and ended up in a filtration camp, and after being released, decided to leave.

The men spent 10 days in the buffer zone near the Verkhniy Lars checkpoint in Russia. Volunteers brought them food, water and clothes.

In a comment to European Pravda, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry confirmed that these Ukrainians had been allowed into Georgia. No other details have been provided.

The situation of the six Ukrainians in the buffer zone on the border between Russia and Georgia became public at the end of last week. At that time, they had been there for a week.

Tbilisi said it had immediately informed Kyiv of the situation in order to facilitate the process of returning these citizens to Ukraine.

In a comment to the RBC-Ukraine news agency, Ukraine's Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported that it was investigating the situation of the six citizens and working on the issue of bringing them back.

Convicts abducted from the occupied territories are often sent to courts in Russia after serving their sentences, where they are found to be violators of Russian migration law and placed in centres for the temporary detention of foreigners. Ukrainians can be kept there for months and seek escort to the border, for example, with Georgia.

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