Russian officials having passports seized due to flight concerns

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Russian officials and state employees are being asked to hand over their passports due to concerns they will flee the country. 

While no universal policies have been made public, it has become increasingly common for the Russian government to seize the passports of any official they deem a flight risk, according to a recent investigation by Current Time and Radio Liberty.

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The emblem of the Russian Federation drawn in the passport. A woman shows her Russian passport.

The emblem of the Russian Federation drawn in the passport. A woman shows her Russian passport.

The investigation, reported by the Moscow Times, found that the restrictions on travel for government-adjacent Russians can vary by person and position — those less directly connected to the Kremlin are able to resign from their position to keep their passport. 

Because the travel bans are an unspoken policy not based in law, exceptions and accommodations reportedly exist. 

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The Grand Kremlin palace, left, and the Cathedral of the Annunciation in Moscow, Russia, on Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2022. Russia announced the start of a pullback of some forces after drills that raised U.S. and European alarm about a possible military assault on Ukraine. 

The Grand Kremlin palace, left, and the Cathedral of the Annunciation in Moscow, Russia, on Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2022. Russia announced the start of a pullback of some forces after drills that raised U.S. and European alarm about a possible military assault on Ukraine.  (Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

For example, obtaining permission to travel to a Russia-allied country is possible for less politically important individuals. 

The investigation found it was unlikely for Kremlin employees to be allowed out of Russia at all.

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Russian Marina shows her Russian passport as she poses for a photo in a hostel of Belgrade.

Russian Marina shows her Russian passport as she poses for a photo in a hostel of Belgrade.

Wealthy Russians have increasingly been attempting to avoid being drafted into Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine by applying for citizenship in the Caribbean nation of Grenada.

Russians with the financial means to do so have been applying for citizenship in Grenada through an investment initiative that allows an applicant to receive a passport to the country for a minimum investment of $150,000 or a government approved real estate purchase at a cost of $350,000, Bloomberg reported.

Fox News Digital’s Andrew Mark Miller contributed to this report.

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