Staunton, May 22 – Ordinary Russians can see what the denizens of the Kremlin cannot: residents of major cities in their country are becoming ever less Russian and ever more Central Asian with each passing month, a trend the Putin regime has accelerated by its need for workers to replace those men it has sent to fight in Ukraine, Denis Grachev says.
According to the interior ministry, there are now 16.9 million immigrants in Russia, 2.6 million more than there were when the war started, the blogger says. Most come from Central Asia, many don’t know Russians, and large numbers are concentrated in places that can only described as crime-filled ghettos (publizist.ru/blogs/33/45867/-).
This problem has gotten worse in recent years for two main reasons, Grachev says. On the one hand, the war in Ukraine by taking men out of the Russian economy has led Moscow to bring in even more immigrants to take their places. And on the other, Putin “has been in power so long” that he is out of touch with what is going in the streets of Russian cities.
“Judging from the directions the government is leading our country,” the Russian blogger continues, it is clear that the regime “doesn’t much care about the future of Russia. As they say, apres moi, le deluge.” But the failure of the regime to recognize this problem and even to use tax money from Russians to help the non-Russians is infuriating.
Grachev’s words are not entirely accurate, but they likely reflect the views of many Russians who see more immigrants around them than they did in the past and overstate the impact of those communities. To the extent that is true, such conclusions constitute a problem for the Kremlin, especially if Russians link this trend with the war in Ukraine and Putin’s age.