Return to Russian in Russia?

The program of resettlement of compatriots is becoming more popular

From 1 January 2013 in Russia there is a new, much improved version of the voluntary resettlement of compatriots. The program itself has become a perpetual, considerably extended the range of family members who can participate in it, and place of residence can now be selected, without focusing, as before, for a specific list of municipalities. All this can significantly increase the number of immigrants from the former Soviet republics, most of which, the data show a recent survey focused on emigration to Russia.

Study of the situation and migration sentiments Russian compatriots living abroad, was commissioned by the Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation. Its geography includes 8 countries near and far abroad, in which the major part of another ethnic Russian and Russian-speaking population — Germany, Latvia, Ukraine, Moldova, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. Thus, in the study were "uniformly" represented the European and Asian regions, which allows us to trace the difference in the migration of their sentiments Russian population. The European case can be estimated and the differences between the individual countries differ dramatically in terms of life, such as for example Germany and Moldova. 

All were interviewed 7,200 people — approximately 900 in each country, including both urban and rural populations, as well as different age and gender groups. Being questioned not only ethnic Russian. The survey covered three groups of fellow — citizens of the Russian Federation permanently residing abroad, the diaspora peoples of the Russian Federation and representatives of the titular ethnic groups who identify themselves as Russian compatriots. The vast majority of respondents still identified themselves as Russian. A study of almost the first time in such a broad context, data were collected on the social, economic, political situation of the Russian diaspora in key states her residence, awareness of the resettlement program and the willingness to participate.

The first thing that strikes you when meeting with the results of the study — a sharp distinction between countries in relation compatriots who want and do not want to move to Russia.

From Germany — the state with one of the world’s highest standards of living, almost no one is going to leave. 87.8% of German compatriots to a question about the desire to move to Russia answered "probably not" or "definitely not", and only 4.2% said "probably yes" or "yes."

4.3% are tempted to move to Russia from time to time, another 3.7% reported having such a desire in their families. A similar picture emerges in Latvia. 85.2% of Latvian compatriots to move to Russia does not intend, and only in 4.5% of such plans. And firmly set on emigration only 1.4% of respondents. As the standard of living is much lower in Latvia German, the majority of compatriots apparently tempted mainly the country’s membership in the Schengen area and the ability to move freely around Europe.

In the European CIS, the situation is markedly different from the EU. In the Ukraine — a country with the largest Russian diaspora in the world (about 8,000,000 people). Interest in moving to Russia in one form or another expressed their compatriots 65.2%. 15.4% had a question about the desire to emigrate answered "definitely" yes, "and another 21.5% -" rather "yes." Only 17.4% are not configured to move, and only 7.8% — hard. Such a large percentage of potential migrants due to the economic attractiveness of Russia and the presence of family ties. 42.9% of his desire to move explained by economic factors, another 32.9% — the opportunity to realize their potential, 39.8% — the desire to be reunited with relatives and 23.1% — the desire to get the best education possible. Despite the fact that the only official language in Ukraine is Ukrainian, and Russian has the status of a regional in several areas, ethnic and cultural factors in shaping immigration sentiment does not play a significant role. 13.8% of respondents among the reasons for the move indicated conflicts with the locals, or fall out of the Russian cultural environment, due to the inclusion in the sample of the western regions. Another 5.8% said harassment by the authorities. Overall, however, ethno-cultural situation in Ukraine is estimated to be favorable.

In Moldova, the number of people wishing to emigrate to Russia even higher. The ratio of both, targeted and non targeted for relocation, like Germany, is exactly the opposite. 82.6% of respondents in varying degrees, are set to move to Russia, including 16.6% — hard. Only 1.6% to a question about the desire to emigrate to Russia answered "definitely not", and another 4.8% — "rather not." The main reason, forced to think about changing their place of residence — the deplorable state of the local economy and a desire to reunite with their relatives. Inasmuch as the economic situation in Moldova is much worse than in Ukraine, then the percentage of people to move in Russia is much higher.

Affects the local specificity. In Moldova, the strong nationalist and pro-Romanian sentiment, so one of the motives for emigration is the desire to live in the environment of Russian culture.


In Central Asia, the migration of compatriots mood noticeably different not only from Western and Eastern Europe, but also from country to country. Most of this region belongs to the zone of the traditional distribution of Muslim civilization and living Asian, predominantly Turkic peoples. The European population lives here in inoetnichnogo and inokonfessionalnogo environment that determines the specificity of its provisions.

In Kazakhstan — the most successful in economic terms, the country in Central Asia, which is home to the second largest after Ukraine’s Russian diaspora (about 3.7 million people.), To move to Russia in one way or another set of compatriots half (50.7%) — less than in Moldova, and even the Ukraine. In this case, determined to move 14%, even 14.7% to a question about the answer "probably" yes ", while 22% said the impermanence of their immigration sentiment (" sometimes "yes" and sometimes "no"). Stay in Kazakhstan are committed to only 6.7% of compatriots, and 22.3% on the question of moving answered "probably" no. " Among the reasons for moving to occupy roughly equal share of the poor economic situation (37%), the desire to be reunited with relatives (36.8%), the opportunity to realize their potential (36%), as well as a desire to give the best education to their children or themselves (31%). More important "push" factors in Kazakhstan are striving to live in a Russian cultural environment and the danger of falling out of it (15%), conflicts with the local population (9%) and government oppression (8%), reflecting trends such as narrowing the scope of official the use of the Russian language and the growth of nationalist sentiment among the Kazakh population.


In Uzbekistan, occupying the largest Russian-speaking population and the second largest in Central Asia (about 1 million people.), To move to Russia-oriented compatriots 58.7% — somewhat higher than in Kazakhstan, but less than in Ukraine and Moldova .

Given the difficult economic situation and much lower than in Kazakhstan, living standards, such percentage configured to emigrate is a bit strange. In many ways, he explained informational sec
recy and limited access to the Russian media, which reflected a much more poorly informed about the Uzbek compatriots resettlement program. The share of firm-minded to emigrate to Uzbekistan is much higher than in Kazakhstan (20%), and the firm intention to stay — almost two times lower (3.7%). Among the reasons for the move almost twice the value of the poor economic situation (55%), whereas the chance to realize their potential (28%), get a good education (27%) and to reunite with relatives (25%) — slightly lower.

A special place in the region is Kyrgyzstan. During the Soviet period it was the most Russified republic in Central Asia (except Kazakhstan), largely retaining these positions so far. However, the two revolutions (2005 and 2010), as well as fierce Kyrgyz-Uzbek clashes in the southern regions (June 2010) have led to a sharp deterioration in the political and economic situation. Not surprisingly, the percentage of those wishing to move to Russia is the highest of all countries surveyed (91.2%), while those wishing to stay (8.9%) — one of the lowest. Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan is ahead by number of firm intention to leave (23.5%) and stay (2.2%). Among the reasons for moving to the main role played by non-economic motives, and the desire to get a better education (39%) and to reunite with relatives (34.3%). Phenomenally high against neighbors share looks to reasons such as harassment by the authorities (23.7%), the risk of loss of Russian culture (21.1%) and conflicts with the local population (12.9%).

Preservation of permanent political and economic instability may well make Kyrgyzstan a major emigration Russian tanks in Russia.


The only country in Central Asia where Russian is now almost gone, Tajikistan is. Their number today is estimated at no more than 30 thousand people. A significant part of the Russian diaspora are pensioners and low-income people who can not leave the country alone. The share of Russia in seeking to move here is somewhat lower than in Kyrgyzstan (82.7%), but significantly higher than in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. A substantially higher percentage of strongly inclined to emigrate (34.7%), and below — those who intend to stay (1%). The main reason for leaving is a difficult economic situation (55.3%), approximately one quarter indicated the possibility to realize the potential, get an education and be reunited with relatives in Russia. Concerns about the loss of Russian culture medium (7.7%), conflicts with the local population (6.3%) and harassment by the authorities (4.3%) due to neighboring Kyrgyzstan looks small, much lower than in Kazakhstan and roughly correspond to the level of Uzbekistan.

Comparison of the results of the survey led to a number of interesting conclusions, which are important in determining the future direction of the migration policy of Russia. The main Russian migration potential is concentrated in the countries of the CIS. The percentage of those who intend to move to Russia from the EU member states, is small, and to focus on them is not necessary. Those republics of the former Soviet Union that are not included in the European Union, however, deserve the most attention. Migration potential of Russian compatriots in the CIS countries is quite large, ranging from half their population in Kazakhstan up to two thirds in the Ukraine and 9/10 in Kyrgyzstan. The main reason for their departure is a complex economic, ethno-cultural and, to a lesser extent, the political situation. The crisis nature of the development of the majority of the CIS states, suggesting that the effect of "push factors" will continue in the future, which will contribute to migration sentiment. In the case of aggravation of the political situation, as happened in Kyrgyzstan, the flow of Russian immigrants may be markedly increased. "Kyrgyz" scenario of migration should be kept in mind, because from it are not insured and externally stable state in Central Asia, including Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.


Migration potential of the Russian population of the CIS of the study is estimated at 8,000,000 people. And this is without taking into account the Russian-speaking population, which also refers to the number of possible persons.

Given that Russia faces a challenge every year to resettle permanently 300 thousand., The number of foreign Russian can last for 20-25 years — as long as the demographic situation is not completely go down to normal and begin a significant natural increase of the native population. The popularity of the program of resettlement of compatriots growing. During 2012 in Russia because of it moved almost 63 thousand people. — Half of all program participants. And to increase this figure is realistic, providing, for example, migrants land for the construction of their own homes and favorable construction loans. All possibilities for the implementation of this policy in the Russian state is.

Alexander Shustov 10.04.2013 | 14:14 Especially for Centuries

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