The countries of Central Asia are already accepting the second wave of migration of Russians since the start of a special military operation in Ukraine in the Russian Federation. At first, it was a reaction of business to the Western sanctions imposed against Russia. The Russian Nezavisimaya Gazeta reports on the situation of migrants in the countries of Central Asia.
On September 21, the flight from mobilization рфы begun. One of the main directions was Kazakhstan, which has the longest border with Russia and 50 border checkpoints. However, this country has also become a transit country for Russians on their way to Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. “Bishkek has become a Russian city,” Kyrgyz politician Ravshan Jeenbekov told the newspaper.
Since the beginning of the year, 184,000 Russian citizens have arrived in Kyrgyzstan, the Population Registration Department under the Ministry of Digital Development of Kyrgyzstan reported. At the same time, Ravshan Jeenbekov noted that this is not critical for the republic, since more than a million Kyrgyz citizens are working in Russia.
The only problem was the rental of housing – prices have increased three to four times, and it is problematic to find a free apartment not only in Bishkek, but also in Issyk-Kul. “In general, the atmosphere is calm. There is no threat to national security,” the Kyrgyz politician said.
The Russians themselves, he said, look lost and need help. The locals do not refuse them. On the contrary, calls to demonstrate oriental hospitality are circulating in social networks. “The Kyrgyz government does not react in any way to the growing population of the country, unlike, for example, the Kazakh one,” Jeenbekov said.
In neighboring Uzbekistan, mostly IT people settled. Benefits for IT companies and specialists have made the country an emigration hub. In the technopark created in the republic, one can find a job, which makes it easier to stay in the country.
“But in the last two weeks, the number of Russians has increased markedly. Families with children appeared on the streets of Tashkent. Everyone behaves very restrainedly, no conflicts with the local population have been noted. On the contrary, they admire our beauties, abundance of fruits and vegetables, delicious food and warm attitude towards them.
Those who arrived note that life in Tashkent is much more comfortable at comparable or lower costs to Moscow,” Abror Gulyamov, deputy head of the international information editorial office of the Uzbek National News Agency, told the newspaper. Uzbek authorities do not provide official data on Russians who entered the country. Perhaps this is due to the fact that the registration is not required first 15 days for foreigners, so the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Uzbekistan is waiting for the information.
The Russians reached Tajikistan as well, which they bypassed in the first wave. Two Telegram groups have been created to help those who come, where you can get advice on how to cash out money from the Mir card, find an apartment, inexpensive cafes, leisure, etc. Moreover, Tajiks offer not only their help, but also free housing for the first time, thereby plunging Muscovites into shock. The Tajik authorities do not comment on the situation.
It seems that statistics are kept only in Kazakhstan. The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Kazakhstan reported that after the announcement of partial mobilization in Russia, 98,000 Russians entered the country, 64,000 left. Of these, just over 8,000 received an identification number that gives them the right to work and open a bank account. At a briefing in Astana, representatives of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Kazakhstan said that the situation is under control, “migration legislation is working, so we do not see any anomalous phenomena in violation of the law.”
Interior Minister Marat Akhmetzhanov said that Kazakhstan would not extradite Russian citizens hiding from mobilization to the Russian authorities. He added that only criminals put on the international wanted list are subject to extradition.
Issues of Russian refugees will be raised in negotiations with the Russian leadership. “We will hold talks with the Russian side and will solve this problem in the interests of our country,” President Tokayev said the day before at a meeting with the public of the Turkestan region.
The president of Kazakhstan called on the government and citizens of the country to show concern for citizens coming from Russia and ensure their safety. This, he said, is a political and humanitarian issue. He recalled the Kazakh proverb: “Good relations with neighbors are the key to peace.” “The most important thing is that we maintain agreement with neighboring countries. We will not lose anything from this,” he said and instructed the government to take necessary measures.
“The statements of the Kazakhstani authorities are an attempt to respond to the topics being discussed, primarily in social networks, where users express dissatisfaction with the arrival of Russians in large numbers. An attempt is being made to show the Kazakh public that the situation is not left to chance, the authorities keep their finger on the pulse.
It is also clear that this is an election campaign and the main candidate, Tokayev, needs to react to the situation,” Stanislav Pritchin, a senior researcher at the Center for Post-Soviet Studies at the Institute of Economics of the Russian Academy of Sciences, told the newspaper.
In his opinion, Tokayev cannot now make sudden movements in either direction. The possibilities are limited. For the deportation of Russians, legal grounds are needed. To limit the flow – also, given that both states are in the Eurasian Economic Union.
The EAEU has adopted a huge number of bilateral documents that do not make it possible to unilaterally change the border crossing regime. This is a serious factor limiting the ability of the Kazakh authorities, which could negatively affect the bilateral Russian-Kazakh agenda.
Photo: Nezavisimaya gazeta
Sept. 29, 2022