Staunton, August 29 – Migrants in Moscow from Central Asia and the Caucasus are increasingly fighting among themselves over jobs, Muscovites say. As yet there have not been many clashes between migrants and Russians; but the level of violence is now so high that Moscow city officials are bringing more criminal charges and expelling more migrants.
This past week after the latest such clash Russian officials deported some 200 migrant workers as well as lodging criminal charges against others that ultimately may lead to their expulsion from the Russian Federation as well (znak.com/2021-08-28/v_moskve_posle_massovyh_drak_deportirovano_200_migrantov
Despite the fact that ethnic Russians are rarely part of these fights, many of them are upset by such disturbances and by the fact that the migrants employ increasingly serious weapons. As a result, officials say, there is enormous pressure on the city and federal authorities to deport as many as possible both to remove the problem and to send a message.
Toward those ends, some Russian residents in the capital are pushing for tighter limits on the number of immigrant workers and for stricter rules on them when they are in the country so that they can be more easily deported. Undoubtedly, some Russians believe that the migrants are depressing overall wages as well.
But both because immigrants are prepared to work for less than Russians do and because the Russian demographic decline means there aren’t enough ethnic Russians for many segments of the economy, both businesses and the Kremlin are reluctant to go too far in the direction of restricting immigration.
As a result, a pattern is emerging that seems unlikely to change anytime soon: migrants are clashing among themselves, and city authorities are expelling them on an ad hoc basis. That may calm the ethnic Russians but it won’t do much to reduce the level of violence in fighting between migrants from other countries.