South Korea, Seoul grants refugee status to Russian deserters at the airport for months

Just like in the famous film “The Terminal”, brought to success by Tom Hanks. Three Russian citizens lived for months at Incheon International Airport, near Seoul, where they landed last October to escape Russia and to avoid being called up for a war they had no intention of fighting, namely that of Vladimir Putin against Ukraine. Initially rejected upon their arrival, the three defectors appealed to a South Korean court. Now, as confirmed by the “Guardian”, two of them have obtained refugee status and will be able to seek asylum in the country. For the third, without giving any explanation, the judges rejected the application. (RUSSIA-UKRAINE WAR, LIVE NEWS OF SKY TG24)

The Story of the Three Russian Deserters

The three foreigners, who, as the “Guardian” points out again quoting their lawyer, requested anonymity for the safety of their families in Russia, had landed in South Korea with the hope of obtaining asylum, but the local Ministry of Justice he had rejected their applications, explaining that avoiding military service was not among the valid reasons for obtaining asylum in the country. So, since last October, they’ve been living inside the airport, somehow living out the fate of Hanks’ character. “We welcome the court’s decision on the two, but it is regrettable that it rejected the other’s request,” said Lee Jong-Chan, the lawyer representing the three Russians. Explaining again that the deserters “came here trying to avoid killing innocent people and getting killed in a war started by their home country. It took four months just to get the right to apply for refugee status”.

What will happen now

The two citizens who have won the appeal, therefore, will be able to settle in South Korea during the asylum recognition process, which could take years. The third Russian, on the other hand, has the right to appeal, but in the meantime he will be able to do nothing but continue to live inside the airport. According to the lawyer, returning to Russia is not an option for the man.