All refugees share one thing, their determination to find a better life. All of them are fleeing their previous stations in hopes that another will accept them or offer a better life.
Those refugees coming from the Red Line often are avoiding being drafted into combat, or more ridiculous means such as being the family of a surrendered soldier. If a communist soldier surrenders, it is seen as a disgrace and his family is arrested. Some of note are the ones encountered in the level Bandits.
Those fleeing the Nazis most likely do not meet their strict physical standard such as height, weight, or a general mutation. The penalty for failure to meet this criteria is death. As a result many people who have lived in the Reich abandon it to escape punishment. An example of this is when Artyom visits the Theatre Station, where two couples can be overheard talking about the Nazi's standards causing them to flee the Reich.
- Some Refugees flee their station not because of political violence, but because of Mutants or Ghosts.