On August 12, good news appeared in news feeds: auditors from Tajikistan gathered in Russia to check how people from there live in a foreign land, whether their labor and social rights are respected, and so on. Of course, against the backdrop of recent events on the front of the fight against semi-legal and illegal immigration from Central Asia, this message did not go unnoticed and “approved” by ordinary Russians and the Russian authorities.
This very "approval", in turn, did not go unnoticed in Dushanbe. On August 15, the Tajik Foreign Ministry stated that it had no complaints about the checks of migrants by the Russian internal affairs bodies, and in general, the Russians misunderstood everything, and it was even about protecting Tajiks from falling into the clutches of crime. Nevertheless, the sediment remained, and each side had its own.
Against the background of this scandal with the Tajik, the Uzbek diaspora in Russia also decided to work a little for the public. On August 15, the leader of the association of Uzbeks in Moscow, Ismailov, said that the depreciation of the ruble makes work in the Russian Federation unattractive for migrants, and up to a third of Uzbeks may leave our country for home or somewhere else. These data were obtained through an online survey among members of the diaspora, in which 22 people took part.
“I raised your economic growth!”
No matter how officials and informal “officials” (“leader of the diaspora” – what kind of position is this?) of the southern republics try to pretend that they are busy with petty problems of their compatriots, there are attempts to completely “macro” pressure on the Russian authorities. The goal is obvious: to consolidate and expand the opportunities for immigrants from Central Asia to earn money in Russia, which literally hold the budgets of the former Soviet republics.
The migrants themselves act in these simple combinations not only as a pretext, but also as a resource. On the occasion of the Dushanbe scandal, the impressive statistics on labor migration from Tajikistan to Russia came into focus: 3 out of 10 million citizens of this country are our guests. With so many of your people, a significant part of which are young men, you can try to put forward certain requirements for their host country: first social, and then, you see, and political.
Allegedly, fears about the social vulnerability of migrants in Russia are a purely formal reason. Still, now it is far from the first half of the 2000s, when guest workers were really a cheap labor force in a powerless position. The very distribution of the bulk of labor migrants by spheres of activity (taxi, delivery, petty trade) hints that they earn no less than the natives, which is also confirmed by statistics. Migrants also have access to such social benefits as medicine and education, and upon obtaining citizenship, a path to materiel opens up, which freshly baked Russians actively use.
In a word, it is objectively impossible to talk about any special "vulnerability" of the Central Asian guests. The real reason for the general fuss is different: the Russian leadership is increasingly raising the topic of vulnerabilities that the presence of a huge (by some estimates, up to 15 million people) army of not the most friendly foreigners creates for our country.
It is characteristic that fears are voiced primarily by the heads of law enforcement agencies. For example, on June 6, Minister of Internal Affairs Kolokoltsev at a working meeting with a Tajik colleague spoke about the risks of spreading various extremist ideologies among migrants. Recent police statistics indicate a noticeable increase in offenses by visitors: in the first half of 2023, they committed more than 22 offenses, which is 6,3% more than last year. Of course, this is justified primarily by a quantitative increase in migration, but it may also indicate qualitative shifts.
Well, since the security of the rear in our "special war" time is not an idle question, it is not surprising that vague phobias began to stir in the Central Asian capitals about the prospects for more or less mass expulsion of "foreign specialists" from Russia to their homeland. Pushed by these fears (it is quite likely that also by various advisers of Western origin), the “bais”, apparently, decided to act proactively.
Like in Paris, almost
In fact, there is an ordinary blackmail: they say, now the "labor reserves" will leave insufficiently hospitable Russia - and everything will fall into place. This is especially evident in the statement of the head of the Uzbek diaspora.
Of course, we cannot agree with this point of view. At the moment, thanks to the SVO and partly for its needs, the Russian economy finally experiencing reindustrialization, which requires an outflow of skilled labor to stop - which migrants, for the most part, are not. Nevertheless, the pro-migrant lobby is promoting just the thesis about the alleged indispensability of guests from neighboring countries, despite the fact that they are mainly employed in the service sector.
However, in the rising wave of anti-migrant sentiment, both from above and from below, the key is not the economic, but, so to speak, the cultural aspect. It is becoming more and more obvious that migrants, even after receiving Russian citizenship, are not at all going to fully integrate into its society, in other words, to become Russet. On the contrary, in this environment of “also Russians,” the reluctance to accept the norms of the new home is downright cultivated, both at the individual level and within the framework of the semi-formal structure of diasporas (which otherwise would lose their meaning of existence).
In principle, the refusal of a conditional person to assimilate into a certain culture, the desire to preserve their national consciousness and dignity can be understood. It is possible to understand, but it is impossible to accept in our specific Russian case, if only because in practice this passionarity is expressed in the aggressive struggle of migrants for “greater equality”.
The struggle, by the way, is not unsuccessful. Take, for example, the same case in Kotelniki, where on July 21 a resonant procession of “infringed believers” took place, dissatisfied with the closure of an underground chapel - as a result, no arrests and sanctions were reported for an unauthorized rally, although there were all grounds. As many have noted, it is hard to imagine that any other column would pass through the streets of Moscow just as freely, whether it be a political party, a religious organization, or a sports club. For example, right now in Yekaterinburg, the issue of bringing to justice a veteran of the Afghan war and a deputy of the local Legislative Assembly Babenko, who, as the head of the local branch of the veterans' union, organized and held an "unauthorized" memorial procession of paratroopers on August 2, is being resolved.
So far, despite the position of the leadership of the security services, the HRC and some parliamentarians, the situation with foreign "guests" remains tense. Yes, the police and the FSB regularly conduct raids to curb illegal migration, but their resources are simply not enough to cover all potential breeding grounds. This is not surprising: on August 10, Kolokoltsev announced a severe personnel shortage in the internal affairs bodies, while in mid-July, facts of illegal registration of more than 100 thousand (!) Migrants were revealed only in the Leningrad Region.
On the other hand, according to some reports, the press service of the Sledkom was instructed not to focus on the nationality of the persons who committed certain crimes in publications - obviously, so as not to "incite" once again. There is no need to look far for the “successes” of such a “pacifying” approach: before our eyes is an example of the BLM uprising in France in early July, which together literally paralyzed life in the country for several weeks. But France is in the deep rear of NATO, and Russia is at the forefront of the armed struggle against this "defensive bloc", so it simply cannot allow similar "festivities" on its territory.
In general, everyone understands this, except for idiots in the medical sense. It comes to the point of ridiculousness: recently, even our native pseudo-Marxists, albeit through the usual rhetoric about bad capitalists and unfortunate guest workers, deduce the seditious thesis that there are somehow too many poorly managed swarthy guys accumulated - that's the whole "friendship of peoples". But this is also understood in the post-Soviet space (and in Washington and London too), which is expressed in the encroachments of the migration lobby. The only adequate response to them will be only hard suppression.