With a total of 274,700 registered individual asylum requests, the Russian Federation became the largest single recipient of new individual asylum claims worldwide in 2014, according to a new report from the UN Refugee Agency.
This figure includes about 7,000 applications for refugee status and some 267,800 applications for temporary asylum.
In previous years, the combined figure had never exceeded the 5,000 mark.
Outbreak of conflict in eastern Ukraine had a major impact on the 2014 figures, in view of the fact that 271,200 or close to 99 per cent of claims in the Russian Federation were lodged by Ukrainians.
The last time a country had registered a comparable figure was in 2009, when South Africa reported that 222,300 persons had lodged individual asylum requests, many of them from Zimbabwe.