Friday, August 9, 2019

One in Seven Moscow Apartments Now Available ‘Only for Russians,’ Study Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, August 6 – A survey of 22,000 rental advertisements in Moscow found that one in seven of them – 14 percent – specified that the property would only be rented to citizens of the Russian Federation, Russians, or Slavs, making Moscow the most discriminatory city in the country (

            Sometimes Muscovites include Ukrainians and Belarusians within the definition of Slavs they will rent to and sometimes not, the study concluded. But the most explicit discrimination in housing is directed against Central Asians and people from the Caucasus, north and south, whose nations are listed by name as unacceptable.

            The amount of discrimination varies depending on price with the higher the rent, the less the fewer such restrictions. But what is striking is how much Moscow is now an overall: Only 3.6 percent of ads in St. Petersburg carry discriminatory warnings, and only about five percent in Novosibirsk, Samara, Kazan, Nizhny Novgorod and Yekaterinburg.

            Such discrimination is illegal, with individuals who practice it subject to fines of up to 3,000 rubles (50 US dollars) and corporations which do fives of as much as 100,000 rubles (1600 US dollars).  But Novaya gazeta points out that these fines are meaningless because there are almost no cases where they have been imposed.

            Some Muscovites may believe that by restricting rental of their units to ethnic groups they favor, they will be able to keep out those they believe are undesirable.  In some places that may be true, but the overall result may be the further ghettoization of the Russian capital, with entire regions becoming populated by Central Asians or Caucasians.

            Russian scholars and commentators have long insisted that in their country unlike in the West, there are no ghettos.  But a closer examination shows that in Moscow at least, they are rapidly being formed, the result of price, discrimination, and a desire by new arrivals to live among and be protected by their own (

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