Last month, the Moscow based Levada Center, a non-governmental polling and sociological research organization, issued a report about growing anti-immigrant sentiment. According to the report, Russian’s xenophobia has continued to grow for the last three years in a row. Among the interviewees, the percentage that advocates restrictions on migrant laborers has risen to 72 percent this year. That is up from 67 percent in 2018 and 58 percent in 2017.
The relationship between China and Russia is getting closer; the major Russian media, especially the official media, are full of reports praising China. Nevertheless, for the last two years, the Chinese have once again become a main disliked group in Russian society. The report said that the least favored group is the Gypsies, followed by African-American and Central Asian immigrants. The Chinese and the Chechens followed these groups.
Over the past two years, Russia has again experienced negative population growth. The shortage of labor hurts the local economy. A large number of Central Asian immigrants are coming to work in Russia. Compared with the Central Asians, the Russian society has more resistance to accepting Chinese immigrants. The report shows that 39 percent of this year’s respondents advocate restricting Chinese immigrants. That is only one percentage point lower than the number who are against the Gypsies. In contrast, although the relations between Russia and the Ukraine have deteriorated, only 18 percent of the respondents oppose Ukrainian immigrants.
Source: Voice of America, October 22, 2019