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Russia: a magnet for migrants

Russia is attracting an increasingly large number of immigrants, but capitalising on immigration involves more than just letting people in

By Ben Judah   November 2010

Between 1992 and 2002, it looked as though Russia lost 6.6m people. But the influx of up to 15m migrants by 2009 changes the picture

Hamid drives a clapped-out Soviet bus in a Russian mining colony beyond the Arctic Circle, where temperatures regularly  plunge below -40C. Yet this native of desert Uzbekistan has few regrets about migrating to Putin’s empire. “In my country there are more men than jobs—in Russia there are more jobs than men,” he says.

Demographic collapse is endlessly cited as the Achilles heel of Russia. It is true that native Russian birth rates and life…

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