IDFI: 8 151 Ukrainian Citizens Entered and Stayed in Georgia in March
The Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI) publishes the March 2022 statistics on the crossing of the Georgian border by citizens of Ukraine, Russia, and Belarus on the basis of information requested from the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
A survey of March data identifies several key findings:
- 16,669 citizens of Ukraine, 43,152 citizens of Russia and 19,898 citizens of Belarus entered Georgia;
- 8,151 citizens of Ukraine, 17,201 citizens of Russia and 14,030 stayed of Belarus remained in Georgia. (In March 2022, a total of 31,231 citizens of Russia and Belarus remained in Georgia);
- In March 2022, compared to March 2019, the number of Ukrainian citizens staying in Georgia increased by 8,657, the number of Russian citizens by 14,593, and the number of Belarusian citizens by 14,047;
- In March 2022, compared to March 2019, the number of Russian citizens staying in Georgia increased by 559%;
- In March 2022, compared to March 2019, the rate of entry of Belarusian citizens to Georgia increased by 555%;
- 60% of adult citizens of Russia and Belarus enter Georgia in March 2022, and only 35% of citizens of Ukraine are male;
- Only 10% of Russian and Belarusian citizens entering Georgia are under the age of 18, while 39% of Ukrainian citizens are minors;
- In March 2022, the largest number of Russian citizens entered Georgia from Tbilisi Airport (34%), the largest share of Ukrainian citizens from Sarpi border crossing (28%), and the largest share of Belarusian citizens from Tbilisi Airport (53%);
- In March 2022, 340 citizens of Russia (0.75%), 65 citizens of Ukraine (0.38%) and only 16 citizens of Belarus (0.08%) were denied entry to Georgia;
- In March 2022, the highest number of (59) cases of refusal of entry for Ukrainian citizens was registered at the Sadakhlo border checkpoint.
According to IDFI, before the start of the Russia-Ukraine war, no significant differences were observed between the number of people entering and leaving the country. For example, in March 2019, 108,422 Russian citizens entered, while 105,814 less than 2% passed. In March 2022, 43,152 Russian citizens entered and 25,951 people passed, about 40% less. As a result, in March 2022, compared to March 2019, the number of Russian citizens staying in the country increased by 559%.
As the organization explains, after the invasion of Russia by Ukraine, the decrease in the rate of entry of Russian citizens to Georgia compared to the same period in 2019 is probably related to the purpose of the visit, which can not be counterbalanced threats from that country.
The high rate of entry of Russian citizens into Georgia was probably due to the high tourist interest of Russian citizens in Georgia, which was facilitated by the existence of direct flights between Georgia and Russia.
On June 21, 2019, in response to the events in the country ("Gavrilov Night"), the Russian Federation canceled direct flights to Georgia, which, in turn, affected the number of visitors to the country.
According to the survey, in the case of Belarusian citizens, in March 2019, about as many people entered Georgia as they left, and in March 2022, 71% (14,029 more people).