Russia Is Having Her Own Migration Crisis That Nobody Is Talking About

Much has been said about the migration “crisis” in western Europe and America, but very little about the one in Russia. Even in the Russian language, there is seldom discussion about this. I have talked extensively about this and how it is far more serious than what is taking place in Europe right now.

Interestingly, an article from a Russian think tank has acknowledged the issue, and the potential implications it has for Russia’s future:

Contrary to the myth widely spread in the media about the decline in Russia’s migration attractiveness, the influx of labor migrants from Asian countries of the CIS is growing. Its sideline, but no less negative result from it, is another round of exacerbation of interethnic relations, which is most noticeable in places of maximum concentration of migrants.

The materials on migration issues published by the Russian media in recent times often confuse two types of migration – permanent, implying moving to a new place of residence, and temporary labor migration, which is often seasonal. Data on permanent migration are published by Rosstat, and on temporary migration – by the Directorate General of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation for Migration, which was transferred to migration statistics after its liquidation in 2016. Failure to understand the fundamental difference between these types of data gives rise to errors in the interpretation of the migration situation, which in the end may lead to wrong management decisions.

The decline in the migration attractiveness of Russia, which was widely reported by the press , refers specifically to permanent migration, that is, resettlement in the Russian Federation for a relatively long period of time. Since 2012, Rosstat includes all those who came to Russia for 9 months or more to this category. By the end of 2018, the number of this group of migrants has really decreased. The positive balance of migration exchanges (the number of arrivals minus the number of departures) of Russia with foreign countries for 2018 compared with the previous 2017 decreased from 211.9 to 124.9 thousand people. This happened because both the number of those who came to Russia and those who left it decreased.

The data on temporary migration are not included in the statistics of Rosstat. Meanwhile, they show that the volume of immigration from the Asian countries of the CIS in 2018 increased markedly. And there is no decrease in the migration attractiveness of the Russian Federation in the eyes of their residents. On the contrary, last year it increased markedly. By the end of 2018, the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia had 17.8 million people put on migration records – 2 million more than in the previous year, 2017. Such significant growth was most likely caused in part by the World Cup. But at the same time, migration from the republics of the former USSR also grew, from where it is not football fans who are going to Russia. The number of their citizens, who were put on migration registration by the Ministry of Internal Affairs, grew by almost 800 thousand people over the year and reached 12.7 million.

In general, migration flows between Russia and the CIS countries last year varied in different directions. The number of migrants from some countries has decreased, and from others it has increased markedly. The first group of countries are Moldova, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan, Armenia and Georgia. In the aggregate, the number of citizens of these countries, put on migration registration, decreased by 96.2 thousand people. The countries that have demonstrated an increase in the migration flow in the Russian Federation include Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Belarus, Azerbaijan, and the Baltic states. In total, the number of their citizens who were put on migration registration by the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia increased by 864.3 thousand people, which made it possible to more than compensate for the drop in migration from other CIS countries and ensure its noticeable increase.

The increase in immigration was mainly provided by Uzbekistan (+416.8 thousand) and Tajikistan (+224.2 thousand), of which 641 thousand people came to Russia in 2018, more than in 2017. This figure is comparable with a population of an average Russian regional center, which is a very significant figure for a period of one year. If you count the citizens of all five countries of Central Asia who came to Russia last year, then their number will be 8.5 million. For comparison: only 6.2 million people live in the Far Eastern Federal District, 9.8 million in the North Caucasus, 12.4 million in the Urals, and about 14 million in the North West. There are significantly more migrants from Uzbekistan and Tajikistan than the entire population of St. Petersburg. And the number of migrants from Kyrgyzstan (877 thousand) turned out to be more

In addition to the registration of immigrants from the CIS countries for migration registration, they are removed from this account. But this act does not mean that the migrant really left the borders of Russia. As explained by Rosstat, “deregistration is carried out automatically in the process of electronic processing of data on population migration … after the period of stay with migrants, regardless of the place of previous residence.” That is, physically, a migrant may well remain in Russia, whereas, according to the data of migration registration, he left it a long time ago. Trouble threatens him only when he meets with the police, which, given the noticeable reduction in its number during the reform of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, is not always the case. In addition, such a migrant may be denied entry to Russia if he still goes to his homeland and decides to return back.

According to the latest estimates of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation, which were voiced in December last year by the Head of the Main Directorate for Migration, Valentina Kazakova, and, apparently, are credible, there are about two million illegal migrants in Russia. If we consider that the majority of migrants come from the republics of Central Asia, their total number during the year can be up to 10 million people, which is twice the population of St. Petersburg and is comparable to the population of Moscow. In addition, in 2018 about 1.3 million people from the states of the Transcaucasus arrived in the Russian Federation. In fact, the number of migrants arriving annually in Russia from Asian countries of the CIS is comparable to the population of an average European country, such as Greece, the Czech Republic, Portugal or Sweden.

One of the most pressing issues is the geography of the regions that migrants choose. Almost two thirds of them were put on migration registration in two federal districts last year — Central (37.8%) and North-West (21.5%). Migration attractiveness of other federal districts is relatively small. Almost a third of all persons registered for migration were registered in the capital region – Moscow and the Moscow Region, and one fifth – in St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region. Absolute numbers look even more alarming. Last year, 5.1 million people were put on migration registration in the capital region, which is equivalent to a quarter of the total population of Moscow and the region. And in St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region, 3.3 million migrants were registered, which is more than half of the number of their permanent residents.

The decriminalization of migrants with HIV in Russia: two sides of the humanism coin

The recent exacerbation of interethnic relations, including a series of clashes and criminal incidents with clear national overtones, is a direct consequence of the increase in the scale of immigration from the Asian countries of the CIS, which is rampant. A similar situation had already developed by 2013, when the uncontrolled influx of migrants and the deterioration of the criminal situation led to massive anti-migrant demonstrations in the Moscow district of Biryulyovo-Zapadnoye. A solution to the situation was then found in a tightening of migration policy, including permission to enter only by foreign passports, the introduction of patents, a ban on citizens of the CIS countries to stay in Russia without paperwork for more than 90 days for six months, etc. The economic crisis of 2015-2016 also helped to reduce migration.

In contrast to Russia, which is plunging into a new round of the demographic crisis, the population of Central Asia continues to grow rapidly due to the high birth rate. At the beginning of 2018, more than 70 million people lived in all five countries of the region. Unemployment problems the authorities of the countries of the region prefer to solve at the expense of the Russian labor market. But it’s clearly not in a position to provide work for the whole of Central Asia . The unemployment rate in Russia itself according to the VTsIOM methodology, based on the self-determination of the respondents, is twice as high as the official one and makes up about 10% of the labor force. And if the migration policy does not change, new political and economic disasters associated with the growing influx of labor migrants from Asian countries of the CIS are almost inevitable. (source, source)

I have said before that the “migration crisis” in the US and Europe is being used for political reasons. At the same time, I pointed out how Russia, who will criticize Germany and the US for allowing a “migrant invasion,” will present herself as a type of “nationalistic” bastion against “immorality” where race, patriotism, culture and the veritably state-enforced Russian Orthodox Church reign supreme and are rising in power.

The image that Russia presents to the world versus the reality is something that, for the careful observer, is obvious to see as it is shocking. One does not have to speak or read Russian in order to see the myriad of statistics which show that Russia is in a state of decline so severe that she would seem to be on par with violence, poverty, drug abuse, disease rates, income, and corruption as to many nations in sub-saharan Africa. Russia is a powerful nation, but she is disintegrating from within. The biggest indicator of this is the decline of her human capital, for people are in any society and regardless of race the greatest asset a society possesses. This is truly the wealth of Africa, for while she may be poor, badly developed, and continually exploited, her large populations, driven often times by Christian or Muslim religious beliefs, have allowed her to expand in size and “export” her people around the world. This is not an “invasion,” but the natural fruit of obedience to God’s command to “be fruitful and multiply.”

Russia’s population is in terrible condition. Her nation is twice the size of all the US (including Alaska, Hawaii, and territories), only has 43% of the total population, and with a fertility rate that is well-below replacement rate alongside a wrecked family structure, non-existent economy, and little hope for the future.

But this is only part of the story. Right south of Russia are the Central Asian nations, whose combined population totals nearly half of all Russia, and who live in conditions that are far more impoverished and miserable than in Russia. These people, who were once under the dominion of the USSR, are migrating with the permission of the Russian government in mass for hopes of a better life.

The migration from Central Asia to Russia is significantly different from that of peoples in Africa and the Middle East to Germany and parts of Western Europe because as has demonstrated on two separate occasions, the migration to Western Europe could not have taken place without massive logistical planing and expendature, which in this case came from the governments of Western Europe.

The case of migration to Russia is similar to that of Mexico and Central America. Indeed, a parallel can be drawn between the two because America and Russia are both imperial powers who exercise a great amount of control, and their neighbors to the south provide important sources of cheap labor for both. Given that these nations are geographic neighbors, the journey is not incredibly far.

One can prove this by going to Google maps. Consider a major city in Russia near the border with Central Asia such as Orenburg, and then attempt to find the longest route possible from any of the -stan nations to it (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan). The longest I could find was 3047 KM, or 1893 miles, or just a little more than the distance from Boston to Houston in the USA. Likewise, consider that the distance from the furthest point in Central America (Interamericana, Panama) to San Antonio, TX- a city similar to Orenburg –is 2940 miles. If we likewise take our previous point in Central Asia and put that to Moscow, it is 2798 miles, or almost 150 miles less than for the person traveling from Central America.

“Central Asians” to Russia are what “Mexicans”, “Guatemalans,” and their sister nations’ peoples are to the USA. The migration to the US from these parts, as with Russia, is an organic movement that is not going to be stopped because first it would be difficult, and second it would not be in their economic interests. This is more the case for Russia than the US, because Russia is losing people due to self-inflicted behaviors and needs to make up for the loss, and Central Asians are happy to fill that role since they have nothing to lose.

People talk about massive immigration to the US from Central America, but it is nothing in comparison with Central Asia. The gas-rich nation of Turkmenistan on the Caspian Sea coast, which has some of the most repressive laws on earth and is regarded by some as another North Korean type state, has had over a quarter of her population move away in the last ten years, mostly to Russia.

It is true that the Hispanic immigrants have changed the US. Nobody can deny this. But so did the Germans (which are the largest single ethnic group in the US), Irish, Italians, Greeks, Portuguese, Polish, and now Arabs, Indians, Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, Filipinos, Ukrainians, and Russians. There have been ethnic tensions, but the Hispanic peoples are generally (a) some form of Christian, and (b) assimilate very quickly into American society, as well as have brought lots of tasty food that Americans are now accustomed to. In spite of the talk of “conquering” America, the only thing that many of these migrants have conquered is the local all-you-can-eat buffet, and the ones that have risen to positions of political power have maintained the current paradigms.

The Central Asians are a different story. They are bound to Russia by centuries of history, in particular that of conquering and subjugating the Russians. These people are Muslims, and while their food and culture contributes to Russian society in a positive way, it is also a threat for many people on both sides- Russian and Central Asian. Russia was for centuries ruled by these people, and while Russia subjugated them beginning in the mid-16th century and completed her conquest of Siberia by the end of the 18th century, she knows that history could repeat again, and she could fall to their yoke that she once was under. Yet she also cannot stop the migrations because of her declining internal infrastructure.

There are many commendable things to be said about Russia. However, one must also keep a realistic perspective on what is happening there, and not to fall for propaganda, which while the “Russian disinformation” meme currently being forced in the US is certainly not true, Russia does have a history of disseminating misinformation about herself that does confuse many people in the West. The fact is that she is not doing well, her problems are systemic and similar to those of the US, but from a material point of view, the US is better able to handle and mitigate negative effects, while Russia is not able to, and is thus in a far more precarious situation.

Likewise, on a final note, do not think that Russia would not round up and massacre such people. She has committed such massacres before (the GULAG system, the Holodomor, etc.) just as Germany has. I have warned that the migrants to Europe appear to be being set up for a mass slaughter. One should not exclude such a possibility, or at least an attempt to do so, by the Russians for political gain.


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