Sunday, March 22, 2020

Russian Cities Face Social Explosions if Migrant Workers are Laid Off, Uzbek Diaspora Leader Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, May 17 – If immigrant workers in Russia lose their jobs under the principle of last-hired, first fired or if they are subject to discrimination in other ways because they are viewed as potential carriers of the coronavirus, such developments could lead to “a social explosion” in Russian cities, Usman Batarov, a leader of the Uzbek diaspora there, says.

            Batarov, who is the head of the Uzbek immigrant group Vatandosh, says that such an explosion could also be triggered if restrictions were imposed on immigrant workers who want to return to their homelands and then come back to the Russian Federation for work (

            Speaking on a Moscow radio station, he pointed out that there are now as many as two million immigrant workers in Russia today. If they lose their jobs and are prevented from returning to their homelands, then in a month or two, they will run out of money and there will be “a social explosion.”

            Laying off immigrants or treating them in ways that prompt them to go home will harm “not only Uzbekistan,” Batarov says, “but Russia too because labor migrants leave up to a third of the money they earn in Russia.”


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