Ophélie Artaud / Photo credit: Martin Child / Robert Harding Premium / robertharding via AFP 17:55 p.m., August 31, 2023

On Monday, August 28, a Russian family docked in the port of Saint-Florent, in Haute-Corse, to ask for political asylum. They reportedly explained that they were opponents of Vladimir Putin, and no longer felt safe in their country. Taken care of by the air and border police, the family was transferred to Marseille.

A rare event. Monday, August 28, a sailboat with on board four people of Russian nationality presented itself at the port of Saint-Florent, in Haute-Corse, to ask for political asylum, reports Corse-Matin. They would be members of the same family, with two adults in their forties and two teenagers.

The family no longer felt safe in Russia

According to the daily, they presented themselves as political opponents. The father of the family reportedly explained that he had participated in anti-Putin demonstrations to denounce the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and that since then, his family no longer felt safe in Russia. Leaving Crimea, they would have called on a Polish smuggler to recover a sailboat and would have sailed more than a month in the Mediterranean, before docking in Corsica.

The refugees, who arrived in good health, were quickly taken care of by the captaincy of Saint-Florent, before being redirected to the air and border police. An investigation will be conducted "to verify all the information," explained the prefecture of Haute-Corse to Corse-Matin.

Transfer to Marseille

According to information from France Bleu RCFM, the family was then transferred by ferry to Marseille, to apply for asylum directly with the Prefecture of Bouches-du-Rhône. An approach that cannot be carried out in Corsica, which does not have a one-stop shop for this type of file. The family now has three months to apply. In 2022, more than 2,600 people of Russian nationality applied for asylum in France, according to vie-publique.fr data.