Checks on migrants from Central Asia have intensified in Russia: what is the reason for this?

In recent months, Russia has seen a significant increase in inspections of labor migrants from Central Asian countries. These activities are becoming increasingly violent, causing concern and outrage among migrants and human rights activists. Radio Azatlyk reported this.

Surprise raids are reportedly being carried out in various Russian cities, such as St. Petersburg and Yekaterinburg, to target illegal migrants and those who have recently acquired Russian citizenship. In fact, about 49 foreigners have already been detained. During these checks, law enforcement agencies often use harsh methods, such as mass arrests, seizure of documents, and even physical violence. For example, in Yekaterinburg, migrants were forced to move in single file and forced to kneel.

More than 30 people arriving from Tajikistan were detained at Moscow’s Vnukovo airport, including women and children. They stayed there for several days. And these are just a few episodes of the ongoing tightening of migration policy in Russia.

Some of the migrants detained at the airport on June 16 sent journalists videos in which representatives of the Federal Security Service check their phones, ask questions about the events at Crocus and tell them: “Russia has nothing but trouble with you,” “Go back home.”

Let us recall that after the terrorist attack on March 22 at the Crocus City Hall concert hall on the outskirts of Moscow, in St. Petersburg, the number of such checks increased, which is especially noticeable at large vegetable warehouses and markets where immigrants from Uzbekistan and Tajikistan work. Representatives of migrant communities report that conditions in police stations leave much to be desired – detainees may be kept in cold rooms without food or water.

Particular attention is paid to migrants who have recently received Russian citizenship. In some cases, they are sent directly from mosques after Friday prayers to military registration and enlistment offices to be presented with summonses to serve in the army, which causes additional tension among migrants.

Migrants and human rights activists believe that these measures are part of a general policy of pressure on foreigners working in Russia, and the desire to reduce their number, as well as attract them to participate in military operations on the territory of Ukraine. In this regard, many migrants are in an extremely difficult situation, fearing deportation or forced conscription into military service.

The situation with increased checks and harsh attitude towards migrants is causing growing criticism from human rights organizations and the international community, which call on the Russian authorities to respect human rights and respect the dignity of all who are in the country.
Let us add that according to Radio Azatlyk, after February 2022, when Russia started the war in Ukraine, most of the migrants are heading to the West, to the United States. Over the past year alone, about 180 thousand Kyrgyzstanis left Russia. The reason is the tightening of checks on migrants and the instability of the Russian currency.