Czech citizenship was obtained last year by the most Russians in the last 20 years


But the number of applicants has been rising continuously since the start of Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014.

“Reports by the Ministry of the Interior on the situation in the field of migration and integration of foreigners in the Czech Republic show that so far the largest number of Russian applicants for Czech citizenship applied in 2021, namely 917. In 2022, i.e. the first year of the war, this number dropped slightly to 798, ” Ondřej Krátoška, ​​spokesman for the Ministry of the Interior, informed Novinky.

While between 2001 and 2013 around one hundred to two hundred Russians obtained citizenship annually, in 2014 this number already reached five hundred. The Ministry of the Interior did not provide older data.

Tens of thousands of Russians live in the Czech Republic, Putin’s supporters are in the minority


In total, around 40,000 people living in the Czech Republic claim Russian nationality, of which 24,000 live permanently and 16,000 temporarily.

However, the statistics do not indicate how many applications for citizenship from Russians were rejected by the authorities.

“The Ministry of the Interior does not record the number of rejected applications or applications for which proceedings have been stopped, according to the applicant’s current nationality. Overall (regardless of the nationality of the applicant or applicants), a total of 377 applications were rejected or stopped in 2023,” Krátoška added.

I think those people want to cut ties with Russia

Andrea Krchová

Andrea Krchová from the Consortium of Non-Governmental Organizations Working with Migrants believes that the higher number of applicants for citizenship among Russians shows that they do not want to return to their homeland.

“The Russians, who have been staying here for a long time, have not had the need to formally establish their citizenship until now. Permanent residence was enough for them and they did not need more legitimization. Now they apparently want to anchor their ties with the Czech Republic more firmly,” he explains.

Citizenship can only be obtained by a person who has lived in the Czech Republic for more than ten years. “I think that those people want to sever ties with Russia rather than there being any danger for the Czech Republic,” she added.

Mobilization can be the impetus

According to Igor Zolotarev from the Russian Tradition Association, the increased interest of Russians in Czech citizenship shows that his compatriots are already losing hope that the situation in their country will improve and the war in Ukraine will end.

“In the first months after the outbreak of the war, people still believed that it would not last long. They could not imagine what it means and how the war will affect them,” he told Právu. “I was in contact with friends in Moscow and St. Petersburg. At first, they refused to move anywhere, even when friends offered to help them. They didn’t believe it would take so terribly long.’

According to Zolotarev, mobilization could also be the impetus for the change of opinion. Conscripts are called up for compulsory military service in Russia twice a year, in spring and autumn.

After the forced evacuation, the family secretly returned home, Russian fire killed the father and son

The war in Ukraine

“Whoever has sons over the age of eighteen are afraid that they will be drafted into the army. However, changes came gradually. Last year, the second year of the war, showed all the horrors and brought hardships to the Russians as well. That’s why many of them started looking for ways to get abroad and stay there permanently,” he explains.

It is certain that among the Russians living in the Czech Republic there will be a number of those who sympathize with and support Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“I have no doubts about it. But it’s hard to say how many there are. We can only hope that the Czech foreign police and other security authorities are careful enough and can correctly assess who deserves to stay here and who doesn’t,” added Zolotarev.

Citizenship after ten years
Citizens of a foreign country or persons without citizenship with permanent residence in the territory of the Czech Republic for at least ten years can apply for Czech citizenship.
An applicant for Czech citizenship must be integrated into Czech society, especially from a family, work and social point of view. At the same time, it must not threaten the security of the state, its sovereignty, territorial integrity, democratic foundations, etc.
Czech citizenship can be obtained by anyone who has lived here for at least 10 years or was born in the Czech Republic, has Czech parents, or has married or registered with a Czech. The applicant for citizenship must be of criminal integrity, able to speak Czech and familiar with Czech realities.

The article is in Czech


Tags: Czech citizenship obtained year Russians years


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