The young generation does not remember Moscow without immigrants because people from Central Asia began moving to the city over 20 years ago. Some of them tried to escape civil wars, others wanted to improve their economic situation. Going to Moscow, they had a good chance to earn some money to send to their families.
Moscow citizens are used to living with immigrants thinking them to be low-qualified workers. They see immigrants as a pool of cheap labor – cleaning men, loaders and builders. They call them non-whites and do not see anything bad about it. It is immigrants from Central Asia whom they insult in public.
A worker from Central Asia in the morning.
A guest worker washes his clothes in the river.
Here is one of such stories:
It was summer and people were at the beach swimming, both Moscow citizens and immigrants. Two ladies were discussing if it were Ok for a dog to swim in the same river with children when people who heard them joined into their conversation with a remark, “Given that those ‘blacks’ are in the water, the dog won’t make it any dirtier”. By the way, they said it in a loud voice so ‘those blacks’ could hear them clearly. They could nothing but try to ignore the rudeness.
It looks like this hostility to immigrants is a part of their mentality.
Guest workers pray during Eid al-Adha' in Moscow.
Those who work with the immigrants claim that there are 8 to 12 million of them in Moscow, while government asserts that the real number is no more than a million. Why? The point is that having illegal immigrants as workers allows Moscow officials:
1. Take bribes for issuing illegal works permits;
2. Conceal the real number.