Media reports say dozens of Tajik labor migrants have been detained in Moscow again.  This time, more than 150 Tajik labor migrants were reportedly taken to police station in Moscow’s Mitino district on the morning of May 30.

Radio Liberty’s Tajik Service, known locally as Radio Liberty, on May 30 cited Tajik labor migrants as saying that they were picked up in the middle of the night and taken by four buses to police station in Moscow’s Mitino district.  

According to the labor migrants, they worked at a construction site near a subway station and lived there in household trailers. 

Russian and Tajik authorities have not commented on this incident.  

Lately, news about the mass detention of Tajikistan citizens in the Russian Federation have appeared almost daily.  

Thus, a video showing Russian police getting Tajik migrants out of the school stadium in Moscow’s Mozhaisk district was posted on social media on May 29.  They have been charged with n violation of the rules of stay, petty hooliganism and disobedience to police officers’ orders.  

Russian media reports say the migrants allegedly expelled teenagers from the school stadium on Belovezhskaya Street and started playing football.  Police reportedly drew up reports against 49 migrants.  

On May 26, police officers closed doors of a mosque in Moscow oblast after Friday prayer and began to check documents of Tajik migrants.  

Approximately 100 Tajik labor migrants were detained by Moscow police in Kotelniki in the night from May 23 to May 24.  

Tajiks students studying at the Technical University in the Russia city of Komsomolsk-on-Amur told RFE/RL that police and security officers raided their dormitory on May 19, severely beating some 100 students from Tajikistan, leaving 15 students injured, some of whom need surgery. 

Outgoing labor migration from Tajikistan has started on a large scale soon after the fall of the Soviet Union.  An absolute majority of the Tajik labor migrants have lived and worked in the Russian Federation. As a social phenomenon this migration has a profound impact not only on the lives of the individual migrants or the families who are being supported by a family member working abroad, but also on the Tajik society as a whole and the country’s economy.

International Center for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) notes that Russia remained an important labor market for Central Asian migrants last year and will likely continue attracting them this year, given the expected acute shortages in Russia and socioeconomic push factors in home countries.  This is particularly true for migrants from Tajikistan who has few real alternatives but the Russian labor market.  At the same time, Russia’s economy, which thus far withstood the tough international sanctions, is starting to slow down.  Migrants for whom economic considerations are particularly important may vote with their feet and look for alternative destinations since returning home where jobs are scarce is not a viable option.  This will be a serious challenge for the national economies, particularly for Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, where remittances constitute 32% and 31% of GDP respectively, making them the top fourth and fifth countries globally depending on migrants’ money transfers.  At the onset of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the rapid devaluation of the ruble and the fear of conscription into the Russian army motivated a certain share of Central Asian migrants to leave, however, people eventually returned in the second and the third quarters of the year as Russia’s economic outlook improved.