From the beginning of the war in Ukraine on February 24, 2022 until the end of July this year, Bulgarian authorities have issued visas to over 86 thousand Russians. The refusals are close to 700. This is reported by “Sega”, referring to information obtained through an inquiry under the Law on Access to Public Information. The answer is from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
For comparison, the data of the National Statistical Institute show that in 2021, 134,971 Russian citizens entered the country.
The trends in the number of issued visas follow the unfavorable course of the war for Russia, the monthly report also shows. In March 2022 – the month after the beginning of the Russian aggression, 4,585 visas were issued. In April, they almost doubled (2,503), and in the following three months there were only a few hundred – 143 in May, 335 in June and 498 in July.
This changed very sharply in August and September, when it became clear that the war would intensify, and the Russian authorities began to take more drastic measures to replenish the army. In August, 5,764 were issued, and in September they were already 9,265.
In the second year of the war, the number of visas ranged between 3,000 and 5,000 for the months from January to April. This changed again towards the middle of the year, when Russian citizens who received Bulgarian visas jumped from 4,830 in April 2023 to 8,986 in May, i.e. twice as much. In June they reached a kind of peak – 10,239, and in July they decreased to 7,160, but hovered around the level of the first mobilization in September 2022.