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Travelers from Russia cross the border to Georgia.

REUTERS/Irakli Gedenidze

Would you accept Russian draft dodgers?

In the week since Vladimir Putin declared a partial mobilization, roughly 200,000 draft-eligible Russian men have fled the country, preferring to live in Russia’s neighboring countries as refugees rather than as invading soldiers.

But while most of Russia’s post-Soviet neighbors have welcomed them, the European Union – which has already all but stopped issuing visas to Russians anyway – is split over how to handle a fresh wave of asylum-seekers coming from a country that the bloc is now all-but-directly at war with.

The EU’s president, Charles Michel, says members should admit them as conscientious objectors. Germany and France have signaled a willingness to do so. But the Baltic states, those nearest the Russian border, have a different view: nothing doing.

What’s the right policy? Here are some arguments both for and against rejecting Russian asylum-seekers.

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Three-year-old Ukrainian refugee Karolina from Nikopol looks through a fence on the platform at a train station in Poland.

REUTERS/Hannah McKay

Hard Numbers: US to take in 100K refugees, cost of living surges in Russia, North Korea tests ICBM, polio scare hits Malawi, militants surrender in Nigeria

100,000: The Biden administration announced Thursday that the US will welcome up to 100,000 Ukrainian refugees and others fleeing Russian aggression. This will happen over the “long term” and therefore will not require raising the annual refugee cap.

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Ari Winkleman

The Graphic Truth: Where Ukrainian refugees are going

Millions of refugees have fled Ukraine. While most have landed in Poland, many are going further afield — some as far away as Japan and the US. We take a look at where the bulk of these refugees are headed within Europe.

People fleeing Russia's invasion of Ukraine arrive at Suceava train station in Romania.

REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne

Hard Numbers: Displaced Ukrainians, pro-Russia parties banned, Japan invests in India, Mexico City’s new airport

10 million: Ten million Ukrainians — almost a quarter of the country's population — have already fled their homes amid the Russian invasion, the UN refugee agency said on Sunday. Most of the externally displaced have gone to neighboring Poland.

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Ukrainians wait to board a train to Poland as they flee Russia's invasion in Lviv.

REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

Hard Numbers: Brits host Ukrainians, Turkmen succession, deadly COVID in HK, Puerto Rico in the black

100,000: Over 100,000 Brits have signed up for a new government program to host Ukrainian refugees in their homes. The UK has been criticized for granting so few visas to Ukrainians thus far, but those without UK family ties will now be eligible.

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A family fleeing Russian invasion of Ukraine arrives at a train station in Lviv, Ukraine.

REUTERS/Thomas Peter

Hard Numbers: Ukraine’s refugee crisis, Germany may keep nuclear plants, Guatemala rejects Sputnik V, Australia hit by “rain bomb”

660,000: More than 660,000 refugees fled Ukraine in the five days after Russia invaded Ukraine, and half of them have gone to neighboring Poland. The UN estimates that the worsening conflict could force up to 5 million people to flee.

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A demonstrator holds a "No To War" sign during an unsanctioned anti-war protest in Moscow.

Sergei Karpukhin/TASS

Hard Numbers: Russia arrests protesters, Ukraine gets crypto donations, EU closes airspace, Ukrainians flee

6,000: As of Monday afternoon in Moscow, an independent monitoring site said almost 6,000 Russians had been arrested in multiple cities for protesting the invasion of Ukraine. Russia hasn’t seen such mass rallies since the January 2021 return and imprisonment of top Putin critic Alexei Navalny.

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US-China trade, Afghan exodus, EU inflation, Mexican journalists

$200 billion: The US says China failed to meet its “Phase I” trade deal commitment to increase purchases of certain American goods and services by $200 billion in 2020-2021 compared to 2017 levels. Having met 60% of its commitments, according to some estimates, Beijing says it has done its best to implement the Trump-era deal despite pandemic-related economic disruptions.

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