Staunton, February 14 – Over the last 30 years, Russians have gotten used to the reality that in the North Caucasus, higher birthrates among the indigenous non-Russian populations and ethnic Russian flights from these regions has transformed much of that region into increasingly non-Russian areas.
Now, they are facing that prospect that non-Russians from this region are moving into predominantly ethnic Russian regions adjoining the North Caucasus where once again ethnic Russians are leaving to move even further north. And while ethnic Russians still dominate the populations of these regions, that may not be the case in the relatively near future.
An article in Komsomolskaya pravda today points out that while ethnic Russians still form 86.7 percent of the population of Stavropol Kray, the number of non-Russians is increasing; and its headline reads “In Stavropol, the number of Russians is actively declining” (stav.kp.ru/online/news/3765256/nazaccent.ru/content/32246-issledovanie-na-stavropole-uvelichilas-chislennost-narodov.html).
People from the North Caucasus are not the only ones who are coming to replace the departing Russians. They are being joined by Armenians and Azerbaijanis from the Trans-Caucasus, Tajiks and Uzbeks from Central Asia, and Africans and Indians. In short, the kray, once viewed as a typical Russian region, is becoming remarkably diverse.
Although the article does not address this possibility, it seems likely that at least some of the ethnic Russians who are leaving are doing so because of their sense that this region is no longer “theirs” in the same sense it was and that if they want to live only among Russians, they have to move northward to do so.