ASTANA — Kazakhstan Interior Minister Marat Akhmetzhanov says 200,000 Russian citizens have entered the country since Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a partial mobilization on September 21 amid Moscow’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, RFE/RL’s Kazakh Service reported.
Akhmetzhanov also said on October 4 that 147,000 Russian citizens left Kazakhstan in the same period of time. He did not mention where the Russians were heading but last week Kazakh authorities said that tens of thousands of those Russians who entered Kazakhstan in recent days, moved further to neighboring Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan.
Akhmetzhanov said that the number of Russians entering Kazakhstan has started decreasing since the weekend. Media reports said earlier that Russian authorities had placed mobile conscription stations at Russian-Kazakh border checkpoints.
Akhmetzhanov said last week that Kazakhstan will extradite Russian citizens to Russia only if they are officially added to international wanted lists.
Kazakhstan’s Digital Development Ministry said on October 4 that since September 21, more than 70,000 Russian citizens had applied and received personal identification numbers that allows them to set up bank accounts and work in Kazakhstan.
RFE/RL’s correspondents from many towns and cities in Kazakhstan report that long lines of mostly Russian citizens continue to stand next to Public Service Centers seeking to receive such numbers.
Russian citizens do not need travel passports or visas to enter Kazakhstan for 30 days.