BERLIN (Reuters) – Attacks against Russian and Ukrainian migrants in Germany have risen since the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said in remarks made available on Tuesday.
Faeser told the Neue Osnabruecker Zeitung this week that since the end of February 308 anti-Russian offences were recorded by police, including 15 acts of violence.
“Offences against Russians and Russian facilities are on the rise,” she said.
Some 250,000 Russia-born migrants and 150,000 people born in Ukraine lived in Germany before President Vladmir Putin ordered Russian troops into Ukraine on Feb. 24, which has prompted more than 300,000 Ukrainians to flee to Germany.
Russia calls its actions a “special military operation” aimed at demilitarizing and “denazifying” its neighbour.
Attacks against Ukrainians have also increased, Faeser said, with 109 offences recorded since the end of February, including 13 acts of violence like bodily harm. Most offences were property damage, insults and verbal threats.
“This conflict should not be allowed to creep into our society,” Faeser said. “We have to remind people that this is Putin’s criminal war. It is not the war of people with Russian roots who live here in Germany.”
(Writing by Joseph Nasr, editing by Ed Osmond)