When did Russia become a developed country

Country Profiles Migration: Data - History - Politics

Significant recent migration developments are deeply rooted in Russian history.

The population movements of the Tsarist era (1547–1917) and the Soviet era (1917–1991) created the conditions for post-Soviet migration and today encompass both national and international migration processes. The current migration flows, which include migration movements of people with a certain ethnic group affiliation (e.g. Russians, Germans, Finns), are predominantly a reaction to settlement policy, changing borders and, in the recent past, to resettlement policies.

17th to 19th century

The territorial expansion of the Russian tsarist empire distinguishes three historical phases. The first dates from the 17th century and is related to the development of Siberia and the Far East. Native Russian speakers became the majority in these areas by 1678. The second phase of expansion followed at the beginning of the 18th century: the Russian heartland was expanded to include Belarus, the Baltic States, parts of Poland and the Ottoman Empire (including Bessarabia, today's Moldova). The North Caucasus, Armenia, Georgia and Central Asia were added in the 19th century in the course of the last phase of expansion. [1] This spatial expansion had the consequence, among other things, that Russian native speakers penetrated into new areas. In addition, European farmers were encouraged by the state in the second half of the 19th century to relocate to the Asian regions. [2]

Russia was probably the first country in the world to set up its own office for migration management in 1763. The main concern of this authority was to promote migration from Western Europe to Russia. This policy resulted in thousands of immigrants, the majority of whom were well educated (e.g. scientists, professors, officers, engineers, architects and business people) settling in Russia. Germans made up the largest proportion of immigrants. According to historical sources, around 1.8 million Germans lived in the Russian Empire at the end of the 19th century. [3]

The Soviet era

In the Soviet era, there were two opposing factors that influenced migration: on the one hand, the restriction of freedom of movement through the residence permit system (propiska) [4] and, on the other hand, voluntary or forced massive migration. [5] The idea of ​​total state migration control through the "Propiska system" can be traced back in several respects to the experiences of the authorities, which during the revolution in 1917 and in the civil war from 1917 to 1923 did not succeed in spontaneous and uncontrolled mass migrations in to get a grip on it. The mainspring for the voluntary but strictly state-controlled migration in the Soviet era was industrialization.

With the intention of promoting industrial development in different regions of the country, a special system of recruiting workers has been set up in the first five-year plans (piatiletkas) [6] introduced. As a result of this policy, around 28.7 million people were relocated across the USSR in the 1930s. [7] In addition, in 1933 a special incentive was created for the population to move to the north, Siberia and the Far Eastern Russian regions, the so-called "northern wage allowances" (severnaya nadbavka). In the final phase of the Soviet Union the system of "distribution of university graduates" (raspredelenie) established practice. [8] University graduates were required to work in certain assigned parts of the country for a period of three or four years. Some came back after completing the compulsory labor assignment, but many also stayed on site. Graduates could also be obliged to move to other Soviet republics: for example, a Russian graduate could be redistributed to Ukraine or Estonia. Towards the end of the Soviet era, migration was largely voluntary, but subject to strict conditions imposed by the authorities. In the 1980s, approximately 15 million Soviet citizens changed their place of residence within the Soviet Union every year. [9]

Forced relocation was part of Soviet totalitarianism, an instrument of political repression. The first victims of forced relocations were wealthy farmers (kulaks) who were deported to the underdeveloped regions of the north. [10] From 1940 to 1959, forced resettlement was an effective way for the Soviet authorities to punish undesirable people who were officially declared "suspicious elements". The victims of such punitive measures included many people from the Baltic States, western Ukraine and Moldova. At that time, not only individuals but entire population groups were labeled as "untrustworthy", such as the Germans (after the start of the war with Germany in 1941), Crimean Tartars, Chechens or Ingush. This policy meant that many people had to live very far from their place of birth, for example in Siberia or Central Asia.

International migration was severely restricted in the USSR. Especially during the Cold War, freedom of movement between the countries of the Eastern Bloc and Western Europe or North America was almost impossible. Soviet citizens needed an exit visa to travel abroad. There were only a few, highly controlled channels for entry into the country, e.g. in connection with politically significant projects or for study purposes. Illegal migration has been effectively prevented through sophisticated security systems and border controls. [11]

Due to the tsarist and Soviet policies, the population composition in the different parts of the country was not homogeneous. Ethnic Russians lived in all sub-republics and their number ranged from 2.5% (in Armenia to 38% in Kazakhstan. They were mainly located in the capital cities and other urban centers, where they had access to culture and education in their mother tongue and were attractive to them With Russians being the dominant ethnic group in the Soviet Union (often referred to as "older brothers") and Russian being the lingua franca, Russians were encouraged to feel "at home" throughout the USSR. The popular hit from the era of "stagnation" in the 1970s illustrates this attitude of ethnic Russians very aptly: "Not just any house, not any street - my home is the Soviet Union." non-Russian republics on Russian territory, according to the last Soviet census of 1989, ethnic Uk rainer and Belarusians are the second and third largest population groups after the Russians in the predominant part of Russian settlement areas. Ethnic Moldovans lived mainly in the central regions. Ethnic Estonians, Latvians, and Lithuanians resided in the northwest regions and Siberia. [12] Ethnic Armenians, Azerbaijanis and Georgians were mainly to be found in large cities such as Moscow and Leningrad, as well as in the southern areas. Ethnic Kazakhs lived in the border area of ​​the Russian Federal Soviet Socialist Republic (RSFSR) with Kazakhstan, for example in the autonomous regions of Kurgan, Astrakhan or Orenburg. [13]