Staunton, Oct. 2 -- Over the last eight years, the number of Russians holding second passports has risen from 817,000 to 1.5 million, approximately 90,000 a year, despite the Kremlin’s increasing restrictions on various categories of Russians from holding them, Pavel Pryanikov says.
Since 2021, the three countries Russians have applied for such citizenship most often are Turkey (25 percent), Armenia (18 percent) and Georgia (15 percent), three places where Russians fleeing from mobilization have already settled, the Russian commentator continues (publizist.ru/blogs/117734/46860/-).
Russians are also purchasing passports in Caribbean countries, although only 20 percent of those buying foreign citizenship papers are wage earners. Most are businessmen whose incomes are greater than 300,000 rubles (3,000 US dollars) a month, Pryanikov says.
Some of those acquiring a second passport may view them as an insurance policy, but most appear to be using them to evade Western sanctions and to travel more freely around the world, something ordinary Russians with ordinary incomes have no possibility of doing whether they have a second passport or not.