Russians are ready to leave the country. What if they decide to move to Kazakhstan?

Kursiv.media has talked to Ayman Zhusupova, a sociologist from ECPM

The moment Russia launched its “military operation” against Ukraine was the moment when people in this country started to face a new reality. Since February 22, 2,778 sanctions have been imposed on Russia because of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. As a result, many citizens in Russia find themselves amid discussions on social media about what country to move to. Kazakhstan is one of the options people have discussed. According to Ayman Zhusupova from Eurasian Center for People Management (ECPM) this migration to Kazakhstan is likely to be temporary.

She believes that wealthy Russians would rather choose Dubai than Kazakhstan.

“Yes, this issue has been discussed. People are ready to move out of Russia. It’s likely that wealthy Russians will go to the United Arab Emirates, Turkey and other countries. Those Russian citizens who think about moving to Kazakhstan are not so wealthy. However, everything will be dependent on the job market here in Kazakhstan,” Zhunusova said.

The expert also noted that this migration could have a serious impact on the labor market in the country.

“The negative side of this process for Kazakhstan is clear as it can worsen the situation in the labor market. Many highly qualified professionals from Russia now are seeking new jobs. If they fail to move to Europe or other wealthy regions they can choose Kazakhstan and make the situation with unemployment here more acute. Above all these new challenges Kazakhstan has faced problems in the labor market for years,” she said.

That’s why the expert believes that Russians would prefer to move to other destinations where they will be able to find something suitable for them. 

“I think this migration won’t be something massive. There are not many extra jobs here in the local labor market. Moreover, many Russians might be frustrated by the level of wages in Kazakhstan, which are lower than in Russia. Therefore, this migration won’t last for long, I believe,” the expert noted.

On February 24, President Vladimir Putin of Russia has officially recognized the independence of the Donetsk and Luhansk republics and launched the invasion of Ukraine. Russia insists though that it’s not a war but a “special military operation” aimed at “demilitarization” and “denazification” of Ukraine.

Right after the war started, Europe and the U.S. imposed sanctions on Russia. Almost all international brands have supported the boycott of Russia and left the Russian market.  

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