Dumb, but useful

One topic that I haven’t touched on yet, at least on this blog, is the issue of Ukrainian refugees in Russia. Unfortunately I don’t have a wealth of sources for information on that topic, and the juiciest source I have is more of a rumor. Suffice to say, the situation is not good. I predicted this would happen whether Ukrainians came here or if “Novorossiya” were adopted into the Russian Federation. Essentially, Ukrainians who put their trust in their Russian “brothers” would quickly regret it. This article shows why, too bad at least half of it is crap. 

I know this sounds harsh, but the article opens up with the story of Stalin and the resettlement of various populations, particularly near the end of the Second World War. I’m terribly sorry but the connection between this and the way in which Russia is settling Ukrainian refugees in Siberia is at best extremely tenuous. For one thing these Ukrainians are not being accused of mass collaboration with Nazi Germany. Second, they have come into Russia willingly. Now Russia has accepted them, but when a mass of people just shows up in a country without going through normal immigration channels, you don’t just get to live wherever. Unless they have relatives in Russia, this would be financially impossible anyway.  

The campaign to settle the Ukrainian refugees in Siberia is sinister indeed, but unfortunately the author ran out of space to consider all the ramifications because he was too busy giving us an over-simplistic, somewhat inaccurate, and altogether inappropriate history lesson about Stalin and the Soviet Union.  

It is a well known fact that most of Russia’s wealth is concentrated in the capital of Moscow. If you want to achieve any sort of social mobility, that’s where you go. This is why it has an official population of somewhere between 12-15 million people, and this is why the buses and metro cars can sometimes be so packed that you spend an entire journey not being able to move, floating in an ocean of humanity. Russia has long been known for low unemployment, but that’s not the case in many other cities or medium size towns. My late brother-in-law searched for work in his hometown and the nearest large city, a regional capital in one of Russia’s richest regions outside of Moscow, for something like a year before finally giving up and coming to live with us in Moscow. When you travel around Moscow you see real improvements; if one did not travel to other cities or small towns in the Moscow regions, one could really fall for the idea that Russia is on the up and up. The problem is that this is really an illusion. Even within the city you can find serious decay, among other social ills generally connected with alcohol.  

No doubt many of these Ukrainians who wound up on Russia’s doorstep would prefer to be settled in Moscow or at least major cities in the area. I doubt any of them ever hoped they’d be sent to Siberia. They probably aren’t expecting to be treated as a source of cheap labor, much like the Tajik and Uzbek guest-workers. I’m very sorry, my Ukrainian brother. This is happening. You fucked up. You trusted Moscow. Makes you kind of wish you stayed home huh? Poroshenko is an asshole and the Banderites certainly scored a goal, but the beauty of Ukraine is that you can fight, and you can change things. What are you going to do in Russia? Have a protest in the Far East? Demonstrate in Magadan perhaps? Who knows, the might let you, if only because you won’t be in the public eye so far away.  

Aside from the issue of dealing with Siberian depopulation, I suspect there is another reason for keeping these people out of sight and out of mind. For the Ukrainians themselves, being tucked away in the Far East and Siberia won’t make them happy, but they won’t be able to do anything about it. More importantly though, I think they want to keep these people out of sight from Russians, or at least Russians in the major cities and especially Moscow. These people have seen too much. They know too much. Worse still, how will you keep blabbering on about the “Russkiy Mir,” and “Slavic brotherhood” when your main audience sees you treating those little brothers the same way they treat Tajik street sweepers. Is this how the great rising Eurasian Empire treats “Little Russians?”  

So for the regime it’s obviously best to quietly disperse these refugees among the marginalized regions of Russia where nobody will hear their complaints. Brotherhood my ass.  

 

 

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