International Migration of Population of Russia:
Exchange of Population with the Post-USSR Countries

Rybakovskiy L.L.

Dr. Sci. (Econ.), Prof., Chief researcher, The Institute of Socio-Political Recearch, Russian Academy of Science, Moscow, Russia

Kozhevnikova N.I.

Cand. Sci. (Econ.), Leading Researcher, The Institute of Socio-Political Recearch, Russian Academy of Science, Moscow, Russia

DOI: 10.31857/S013216250006665-4
ID of the Article:

For citation:

Rybakovskiy L.L., Kozhevnikova N.I. International Migration of Population of Russia: Exchange of Population with the Post-USSR Countries. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2019. No 9. P. 106-116


The article shows that until the collapse of the Soviet state, most of the territorial movements were internal migration processes for the USSR, which since 1991 began to transform into interstate migration between the former republics, now independent countries. The scale of these migrations was largely determined by the ethnic component, for Russia – by the migration of Russians, who settled in future Union republics long before the October Revolution. The article presents the change in the numbers of Russians in the former Union republics, starting in 1926, right up until the collapse of the united state. It is said that the outflow of Russians from the union republics began long before the collapse of the USSR, an impetus for the mass return of the Russian population to their historic homeland. This process, called re-emigration, differs fundamentally from the often used term «repatriation». The article shows the differences between these processes and analyzes the reasons for mass re-emigration of Russians, which took place in the 1990s, states that discrimination of nonindigenous people at both the normative and everyday level was one of the most important reasons for their re-emigration to their historic homeland. Immediately after the collapse of the Soviet Union, a huge migration flow of Russians rushed out from all the newly formed states into Russia. This was largely due to the widespread violation of the rights of the non-indigenous, first of all, Russian population, who lived before the collapse of the USSR in these countries. In many of them, the title of nationality for them, their troubles and difficulties associated with the fact that their republics, being part of a single state, gave more than they received in return (they thought they were feeding Russia) and that without Russians they would live richly and freely. As a result, there was a violation of the rights of the Russian and other Russian-speaking population. It is concluded that the entire period under consideration, during which the nationality of migrants was taken into account, was a gradual reduction in the number of arriving population, including indicators of Russian nationality from the new independent states. In conclusion, an estimate is given of the approximate residual migration potential of the Russian population, which under certain conditions can replenish the population of Russia.

population migration; emigration; re-emigration; repatriation; migration performance; migration potential; new abroad


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Content No 9, 2019