Leontyeva E. O.

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  • 1, 2024

    • Other Migrants in the Far East of Russia, or Search for the Soviet People during the Period of Nation Building in the Post-Soviet Space

      The article examines a new, not very important from the statistical viewpoint, but extremely unusual flow of migrants from the former republics of the USSR, primarily Central Asian and, to a lesser extent, Transcaucasian. In the recent past a typical migrant in the Far East, as well as in Russia as a whole, can be described as a resident of a small city or village, who is focused on a short-term or cyclical stay in the region for the purpose of earning money and minimally interacting with the host community. However, the new flow of migrants includes residents of large cities who travel to Russia with an intention to integrate. For these types of migrants the usual economic push/pull factors do not play a significant role. The representatives of this group possess sufficiently high qualifications and did not experience any serious economic problems in the country of origin. The motives for their move are rather political in nature, and this is not persecution for dissent or participation in opposition activities, but rather what the authors refer to as the search for the Soviet people.

      According to the authors’ conclusion, the emergence of this migration flow is associated with the growing process of ethnicization (as a form of nation-building) in the states of the post-Soviet space, which is increasingly becoming less post-Soviet. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the authorities of the newly independent states pursued an extremely cautious national policy, which was largely explained by the artificial nature of the contemporary borders of these states and their ethnic foundation. The former imperial cities, the previous centers of power, whose population most closely corresponded to the image of the Soviet people, preserved their high status. However, in the recent years the situation has changed. As ethnicization intensifies, accompanied by the ousting of the Soviet, which was equated with the Russian, the “debris” of the Soviet people lose not only their social status, but also the foundation for self-identification. They move to Russia in search of such foundation, with the hope to find confirmation of their own professional and socio-political identity.

      DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2024-112-1-114-135

      Pages: 114-135