Tolerance

Central Asian migrants say they suffer as 'second-class people' in Russia

By Arman Kaliyev

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Workers carry steel mesh during street renovation on August 10 in downtown Moscow. Migrants from Central Asia often work in Moscow as street cleaners and construction workers, Farkhod T., 35, of Namangan, Uzbekistan, told Caravanserai. [Mladen Antonov/AFP]

MOSCOW -- Negative stereotypes about Central Asians and anti-migrant attitudes are pervasive in Russia, making an already difficult life more unbearable, migrants say.

These stereotypes and attitudes stem from repeated statements from Russian officials regarding terrorist suspects from Central Asia and negative coverage of migrants in Russian media.

'Second-class people'

According to the Moscow-based Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy and specialists from Russian state agencies, there were 1.92 million Uzbekistani, 1.06 million Tajik, 622,000 Kyrgyz and 522,000 Kazakhstani nationals living in Russia as of June 1.

"Migrants from Central Asia do the least prestigious work here -- they clean the streets, build houses and roads, guard various facilities and babysit," Farkhod T., 35, who migrated to Moscow from Namangan, Uzbekistan, told Caravanserai.

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Makhamadyusuf Mirzaalimov, suspected of involvement in the April 3 Saint Petersburg metro bombing, attends a hearing on his detention at Saint Petersburg's Nevsky district court April 7. [Olga Maltseva/AFP]

Farkhod, who declined to publish his last name for fear of repercussions, came to Moscow five years ago. He first worked at a construction site before becoming a private driver, his current occupation.

Back home in Uzbekistan, he has a wife and four children to whom he sends money every month.

More than anything, Farkhod is afraid of being deported, so he always keeps up with registration requirements in town and does not break the rules that apply to those temporarily residing in Russia.

"The locals think we are second-class people, and it comes out in their everyday attitudes toward us," he said. "'Gooks' or 'monkeys' -- we have to tolerate every possible kind of insult."

Such bigotry is not uncommon. In one published incident earlier this year, Natalya Kushparenko, a journalist from Bishkek, faced discrimination at a Moscow hotel, the Kabar news agency reported.

The hotel refused to book a room for her solely because she is a Kyrgyz citizen, she said in April.

"I responded to the hotel management that I am a Kyrgyz citizen but an ethnic Russian," said Kushparenko. "The employee said, 'But you are not a Russian citizen ... and you live in a country that is hostile to us.'"

'How do I know that you are not a terrorist?'

This year, the discrimination became even worse, Farkhod said.

"One month ago, I was barred from entering a residential housing development in Moscow," he said. "The security guard told me, 'How do I know that you are not a terrorist?' I have been called many things in my lifetime, but that was the first time someone called me a terrorist."

Russians have become more vocal about their opinions on migrants and guest workers after Akbarjon Jalilov, a 22-year-old Russian citizen who was an ethnic Uzbek born in Kyrgyzstan, carried out a suicide attack on April 3 on the Saint Petersburg metro system, killing 14 people.

A few days after the attack, the Investigative Committee of Russia announced that six migrants from the Central Asian region had been arrested in Saint Petersburg. The suspects were accused of recruiting for al-Qaeda-linked Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (formerly known as al-Nusra Front) and "Islamic State" (IS).

A month later, the Russian Federal Security Service announced that it had arrested four men -- all natives of Central Asia -- who were involved with IS and complicit in preparing for terrorist attacks in Moscow.

In August, two more alleged IS members were detained, once again from Central Asia, who reportedly were planning terrorist attacks for September 1 in Moscow.

Creating 'an image of the enemy'

This increased focus on the threat of Central Asian terrorist suspects, whether real or exaggerated, creates problems for Central Asian migrants trying to make an honest living in Russia.

Russian media outlets and security officials "shape us into an image of the enemy", Farkhod said.

Nationals from Commonwealth of Independent States countries who came to Russia for job opportunities form the backbone of terrorist groups inside the Russian Federation, Aleksandr Bortnikov, chief of Russia's National Anti-Terrorism Committee, said April 11.

The Central Asian region is the main source of migrant labourers in Russia.

Statements linking Central Asians with IS have strengthened the anti-migrant attitudes held by Russian citizens, according to Farkhod.

"This past summer in a cafe in Moscow, some Russian guys picked on someone I know from Tajikistan and dragged him outside," he said.

The Russians beat up the Tajik, according to Farkhod.

"Nobody tried to help him, not even the establishment's security guards," said Farkhod.

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99 Comment(s)
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Wogs abuse other nationalities in every Wogistan. So they deserve the abuse in Russia. And if you don't like it, don't freaking go to other countries, sit tight in your villages and never come out. Trust me: no one is going to miss you!

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Every guest worker means new risks of terror attacks, the GTA gangs, deadly babysitters, paedophile rapists, RUSSOPHOBES, drug trafficking, economic crime, carrying infectious diseases. The fewer guest workers are in RUSSIA the cleaner is the air.

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Russia is going back to its Stone Age and backward Nazism.

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I worked with Asians for a few years. They don't know work, nor do they want to work. They can do the job only in packs. I saw janitors in Moscow recently: one was pushing the cart, the other one was carrying a shovel, the third one a broom, the fourth was picking up aluminium cans. One person was able to do all this before; now, several Uzbeks do the same job.

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The fact that you paint everyone with the same brush means that you are probably not that different. These poor souls don't eat so that they can provide for their families. That's why they are emaciated. To me, they deserve to live in our cities much more than Nazis like you. I am a 6th generation Muscovite, and respect these hard-working people immensely, while I feel ashamed of you. There's a term "Spanish shame" [vicarious embarrassment] if you know what I'm talking about. You'd better not say anything at all.

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Feed and give shelter to those "poor souls" who massacred Russians! You're scum, a punching bag and a gollywog's whore ))

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You are losing your shit, Nazi ))

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Did you shit your pants, you gollywog's whore? ))) Now let it drip, you scumbag ))

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Tajiks are the dumbest and the most shameless out of everyone in Central Asia!

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I AGREE.

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Good for you! I would add that they are also nuts

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Religion is to blame. Indeed, Islam will eventually lead either to terrorism or slavery, like in Russia. If Muslims are the majority, they will not let minorities live.

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Your mom is to blame for giving birth to you

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Why are they coming to Russia? I mean, only monsters live there! Heavy debauches have been going on for generations, morons and degenerates are born poisoned by the cheap booze. Russia is a horrific country!

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That's how they ought to treat you; go back to your Asian capitals. How come you like it so much in a country of whites?

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Did you read the article or just scroll it? People act entirely decently and behave themselves, but they are labelled "terrorists" and "apes." What kind of "white" country is this? Judging from the comment, the only ape here is you

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People coming to a foreign country should abide by the laws and traditions of that country instead of imposing their own rules here.

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That's right. Soon it'll be too dangerous to walk outside. If you are visiting the country, you must respect the moral principles of this country. And if you write about the attitudes here, write about how many crimes have been committed by the packs of these "friendly" creatures perpetuating robbery and violence. I'm scared for the children. [Immigrants] are cunning, mean creatures pretending to be law-abiding victims in the daytime, turning into the gangs of mad beasts every night. I completely agree with the bad treatment [of them].

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But not all people are the same

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First off, learn the grammar of your native language; it is essential that you read more good books to do that. And life will show who's right.

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Why are they being brought here? They are people with no education or manners. They don't know Russian language or culture. Moreover, their looks and religion are different. [They are] small. Why? [And on top of that they are] brazen. Murders, raping children and women.

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Do you think Russians commit no crimes?

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You don't know grammar and punctuation yourself, but you are writing about other nations. Many of us know Russian and Russian grammar better than the Russians themselves.

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We've got enough our bastards in Russia, I'll say, and here you are barging in, too!

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Duffel bag, village, Wogistan. And quit coming over here, imposing your customs.

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Otherwise they do their kurebibaran. ["kurebibaran" may be a reference to Kurban Bayram, the other name for Eid al-Adha]

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Freaking Nazi

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Wogs go to Wogistan

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Pigs should go to their pigpen!

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There's no such thing as the Russian ethnicity. Russians are descendants of Turkic-Finno-Ugric-Bulgars. Their skin colour comes from the Finno-Ugric [peoples]. So fuck off!

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Russians, go back to Russia

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Russians have always been a pillar of authority in the "Wog-republics."
You can't even get education yourselves. Damn, you are apes.

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Learn history first and then scream out loud

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Russians are drunks and whores!

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Migrants from Central Asia! Go home!

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Don't let them in, that's it!

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Migration is problem of government. Russian and Asian. If people had job in their countries they wouldn't go to Russia. Russian government policy is to attract migrants. So if you don't like migrants you should blame russian government and not asian people. They would prefer to stay home with peach trees than to be here in cold and dark country.

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May they live under the peach trees. They are not supposed to be here among us. May they increase the growth of their economy. They have [ancient] feudalism over there, but here each one of them would never let go of the cell phone.

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And why are you coming over to us? There are lots of your people in my country although they are not as brazen as you and never insult [us]. Because they know this is not their land.

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There you go - they know they are in a foreign country... And why don't you think about that in Russia? You are telling us to our face that you are the masters here... Tajiks are particularly mean... Kyrgyz seriously lag behind in terms of culture, education, and IQ... Kazakhs are a stand-alone group of wildly arrogant apes... But you as a whole are a mix of the 80s and 90s. That's why there's such a strong dissonance/contradiction between you and us, modern people... You still have this FEUDAL state of mind and spirit... And we feel weird and uncomfortable having you near... in these complicated and war-like conditions of the modern world... But it's a hi-tech war nowadays, and our rivals are super hi-tech. And you have come up from your Central Asia and "trained your bows to shoot us in the back..." THAT'S what it looks like!

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We always worked and vacationed in cities around the CIS [NOTE: probably USSR, not CIS], [there was] no need to recruit and invite [people] from Central Asia then. To this day, they are hiring in every city in Russia. You can find rotten people of every nationality.

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That's how Putin and Co are exterminating Russians! There are no scientific minds without working hands! If their OWN (working class) can't use their HANDS, their OWN intelligentsia can't use their MINDS. It's the PARETO principle 80/20 = it works 100% in all aspects of life!!!

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Who are they, anyway? I do consider them second-class people.

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That's what they are!

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And you are third-class

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That's bad politics. If politicians want PEACE among migrants, it's not far off, but they [politicians] need to improve their standing by saying bad things about migrants. They can't say these kind of things about their compatriots; you can see it on TV, as if they are rooting for their own people. I wish my RUSSIAN brothers, sisters, GRANDPAS, and GRANDMAS good health and good luck. Migrants are not your enemies.

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Thank you for your smart and kind words. People are very angry now. Disregard them

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I feel sorry for migrants

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They won't spare you. Just like they didn't spare all the others in the early 90s.

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This is not human, and these are not Russians. My GRANDPA always spoke highly of the Russian people.

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Folks, I am from Tajikistan. The Russians abroad, especially in the USA, are also considered second-class citizens or, it is safe to say, third-class, but they don't understand that, especially young people. Look at how they are brought up. People who do not act justly, and infidels, will burn in hell. And we by all means should not lose faith in the Lord of All Worlds. Then we will laugh at them! Friends, be patient and don't allow injustice. They think that they have inherited the land for good.

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Live in misery in your villages; you poor guys don't have to go to Russia, no one is waiting for you there with open arms!

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Mikhail [the author uses "u" instead of "a" in "Mikhail" to make it sound like the Russian word for "dick"], or whatever your name is, you are a freaking Nazi. Asians are better than everyone.

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You goat [moron] or what is your name, animal?!

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At least one wog knows how to write!

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Exactly. Why are the Tajiks becoming insolent more than anyone else?!! :)) I wonder, why? Is it because of their extreme backwardness? And Abdumumin's statement (talking about Russians having such name... Come on! :) contains a BLATANT CLAIM TO OUR LAND... :)) They were probably unable to "domesticate" that civility they got from the Russians. Still, these Middle Ages Asians appreciate the comfort created by the Russians in Russia! :)))

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Tajiks have the highest self-esteem, and they love bragging!

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Your dad is a gollywog, you freaking Nazi. There are no evil nations; there are evil people. I am Tajik, too. Maybe some nasty Tajiks broke the law in Russia, but it doesn't mean that all Tajiks or all migrants are bad. There were, are, and will be good and bad people. I hope you will change the way you think about it.

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The older generation probably remembers how well they were received, respected, and how people shared their last piece of bread with them when they migrated to Central Asia. It took just one Russian to be in a group and then everyone was forced to speak Russian, so as not to offend that Russian person. But now we have a different kind of youth.

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Russians brought you civilization... What do you bring to us?

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Demographics and income!

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It is necessary to change people's attitude toward migrants; they do good, and are beneficial for Russia.

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Zhumavoi, for whatever reason immigrants from Asia are so sure they do us good... :)))
The blue-collar job sector lacks Russian professionals, although so much effort and many years were invested in forming the very stratum of skilled workers in the 20th century!! Now, is this good and beneficial?
There's a vast stratum of people with no professional training thanks to you... They are unwilling "managers" with the certificates issued by pseudo universities. They stood no chance at becoming workers due to both the elimination of the whole culture of blue-collar jobs (the social-cultural factor) and because they were unable to compete with your cheap and low-quality labour... How many years will it take before we have to re-build everything you have built in the post-Perestroika years? And how about money invested in salaries and resources... The money paid for all the Asian and Chinese GARBAGE of yours! That's the BENEFIT we get from you!!!

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Going to Russia for chicken feed? No. [They could] insult [you] by calling [you] chinks or gollywogs. There are other destinations like Korea, Canada, and Singapore where we are needed.

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Canada doesn't freaking need any of you, you shitty gollywogs

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Going to Russia, like gollywogs? Not for anything

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The attitude towards Christians in Central Asia is no better

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It is a lie, dear.

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I agree with Makhmad

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Do you blow Makhmad?

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Dear RUSSIANS, remember 1941-1943, when a STARVING UZBEK gave his ration card for some bread to evacuees from RUSSIA

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Inko, our ancestors did a good deed, that was their nature, and I don't think that we need to mention this. Honorable men don't do any favors, and they don't brag about kind deeds they do. They just put their hope in Allah and fear Him. Our ancestors never kept evil in their hearts, although they remembered how the Russians annihilated them mercilessly during both Tsarist times and under the Bolsheviks. We all know that various explosions are perpetrated by the Russians themselves (there is lots of evidence on YouTube and even Zhirinovskiy talked about that), and then either Caucasians or Central Asians get thrown under the bus. I just keep thinking, why would you go [there] to be humiliated? [Would you do that] to make our own ancestors turn in their graves because we have confused patience with a loss of pride? The best option is to bring all our people home and build an iron curtain between us and Russia. And no diplomatic relations at all. Life is a boomerang, but the boomerang returns [to strike down] with double force.

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Use documents to support these stories about Asians exterminated by the Russians in the Czar's times!!!
Kyrgyz celebrate the Day of Independence from Russia on March 18th because on March 18th 1914 the Kyrgyz were murdering Russians in Cossack villages, mostly women and children when their men were away fighting World War I...
And after all the crimes perpetrated by the apes obedient to Allah, YES! A Russian regiment came along and made Kyrgyz troops flee to China; some of them died from starvation there. They could have given up and been held accountable for their atrocities... I'm afraid that Russians would not have shot them. Russians DON'T LIKE killing people, unlike Muslims...
It's a thousand years of the influence of the Evangelical sermon by Jesus of Nazareth! (not to be confused with the Old Testament forerunning the Koran)

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You made me laugh, haha!

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Salaam to everyone! So, why are you superior people going to Russia, where you are considered second class? This is because people think of you the same way at home, and not just in Russia, but all over the former Soviet Union! So stop whining like little girls, but start working and earning a living.

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We don't consider our men who go earn a living in your country second-class citizens, as you put it; you are not worthy of respect. Every man deserves respect when he wants to work hard and provide for his family. And the fact that some of your people sort out and humiliate human beings is because they are themselves sorted out and humiliated by their life, and Allah will humiliate them even more.

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Hey, Believing Woman [the nickname of one of the female readers who left a comment]! What do you believe in? Do you believe everything you do is right, and Allah will punish everyone for you?.. In other words, do you believe you are good and all the others are bad? However, we believe we are good... But you don't believe that [what we believe] because THAT DOESN'T BENEFIT YOU!

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Those who don't appreciate work of these poor migrants do not support Mother Russia. There are good and bad migrants, and people should know better than to blame migrants for everything. I am sorry, but there are lots of bad people everywhere. I respect Russia, and like Russian cities. May God give PEACE AND PROSPERITY to Russia, and I wish good health to the people with whom we forged a friendship under the former USSR.

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SLAVE!

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The truth hurts. However, this is not the fault of the Russian people, but our shared misfortune.

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There were no conflicts when I studied in Russia in the 70's. We were friends with Russian guys and gals, and treated each other with respect.
It is interesting, but when we harvested potatoes in the villages [NOTE: a common Soviet practice of sending students out to the countryside to help peasants and farmers harvest potatoes, vegetables, etc.] the Russian girls among us were quite bashful, and wore headscarves. They were OK with adults telling them 'Shame on you!' [if the girls misbehaved]. In a nutshell, there was friendship, love, respect, and mutual understanding. But what do we have now? Both Russia and Central Asia have to tackle this issue. As the great Russian writer Anton Chekhov wrote: "We must strive to ensure that everyone sees and knows more than his father and grandfather saw and knew."

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You say they wore headscarves? Don't tell our women what they should wear. They will figure it out themselves. And we will support them. You better teach your termagants suddenly turned believers. And talking about bigotry towards your people, we give as good as we get. Heroes of Socialist Labour, look at you. Remember the late 80s up to the early 2000s, remember that horrible genocide and your savages hunt down ethnic Russians. Remember our specialists who created a civilization for you. We have no intention to sort out if you are extremist or sweetie pie. You are all the same for us now. The times of tolerance have passed. Thank your fellow countrymen for that.

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You're instructing people what to do? Okay, if you believe walking down the street half-naked and showing your butt off to passersby is normal, then fine, you bet. You've got a strange mentality

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This attitude is based on things that people avoid talking about. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, in the 1990s Russian people started to be persecuted in Central Asia. How many Russians were killed because of ethnic genocide is something that they keep quiet about, and the facts are covered up. And now migrants from Central Asia are committing violence against Russian girls. The authorities in Central Asia and Kazakhstan actively pursue anti-Russian policies, and demand that Russia severely punish those whom they consider nationalists, but do not care what happens in their own countries. There are people convicted of these crimes in Russia, but you cannot name at least one person convicted of Russophobia in Asia. There are none, as if everyone is pure and innocent. Anti-Russian policies in Tajikistan forced Russians to flee for good, and those who remained in the country are political and social pariahs. It is easy to go on and on... Don't blame Russians for something you bring upon yourselves. You have driven all the Russians out of your country, and now you insist on being respected in Russia.

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I disagree with you. I am using 'ti' to address you [the informal form of "you" in Russian, disrespectful if used to address strangers and older people whom someone is not well acquainted with or closely related to] because there are few people like you in Russia. It is a lie that all the Russians were forcefully kicked out. Many Russians live in Tajikistan. I have a Russian-speaking wife, and we have four children. I do respect Russia and its people, and my wife respects all Tajiks. One wrong word from you can shatter lives for a lot of families. Paper doesn't refuse ink. For example, it's not my fault I was born Tajik, or that you were born Russian. Let's respect each other, dear friend, and watch what we say. There are good and bad people of all nationalities. Let's not insult an entire people because of one man. Let's say good things, and answer each other's questions. Sorry if I wrote something wrong.

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Dear Victor, no one ever drove [me] out. Believe me, to get some kind of help my brothers who had gone to Russia said different things - trust me, please.

I worked with Russians, both at home and in Moscow, all my life. The first year of work in Moscow was hard, I wanted to quit my job, but when I submitted a resignation letter everyone in the group I worked with stood up and said, "Mamadik, please stay!" They hated me the first year because I was a gollywog for them, but when I had worked with them for 10 years at the Moscow Railway I was the most respected. Sorry, I am making grammar mistakes. I wish you a happy New Year, full of happiness and good health.

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Dear Sir, the Russian people have never been persecuted, but it is just that the requirements in Central Asian countries, and in Russia, have changed; it's that simple. It is mandatory to understand and speak the official language of the land you live in. But, as usual, the Russians don't want to learn [languages], and so as a result they blame the government for discrimination against them. I don't get it - why do the Russians always feel mortified, as if they have a sense of entitlement? Look at the whole world - it has always been the case that America and Europe consider you "third-class" people and the Russian language is not in fashion there. If you ask them why they don't learn Russian, they say, "Phooey! We don't need to." And the French elite can't stand the Russians at all, and think you're rednecks. And the attitude of Poles toward you is in a league of its own, and they call you invaders. May you should analyze the situation, and ask yourselves why people have that kind of attitude toward you. Maybe the Russian people themselves need to change first?

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Dear Russians! I am a Kazakh, and my wife is Russian. My son-in-law is Ukrainian) Father-in-law is half-Georgian ) Friend is Tatar ) Daughter-in-law is Ingush ))) Basically, the whole former USSR! And we are a big, close-knit family living here in Kazakhstan! Peace be with you, and may God help you! Come over here, we will be happy to see everyone!

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If Russians are so bad and arrogant, then sit at home and don't come here to earn a living. Go to China, Singapore, or someplace else. Stay away from us, we are the occupants who built schools, kindergartens, and movie theaters for you and have not deserved your kindness.

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How much brazenness should Asians have to thank Russians for 220 enterprises moved to Kazakhstan in 1941 (to begin with!) by killing, beating up and robbing them! [Russians] momentarily created the economy of this nomadic steppe inhabited by apes riding little horses! (Other Central Asian tribes - you didn't even have a state BEFORE the Russians).
And by saying NOW that you KILLED NO ONE and didn't plunder [people], and they had left of their own accord, and that was their free will - this is how you distort history... And these bastards keep saying that Russians are to blame since Asians talk s--t about them. Our history is different; we are from different planets. Russians are not willing to shoot themselves in the foot again... Although PUTIN refuses to rescind the % article, aka "Russian" [an anti-discrimination law]. [His refusal to do so] enables authorities to punish Russians in RUSSIA if they rebuff Asians and Chinese!

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Tajiks wrote in the 90s: "Russians, please don't leave; you will be our slaves!"

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The Russians have always treated Central Asians with hostility and insulted them. It is their mentality, their true colors. How can they be tolerant if they are mostly godless people and alcoholics? There is only one solution here. We should marry their women so that they have children with slanting eyes, like Asians. They would shut up then.

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[Your] wedding tackle has not grown out yet. [A literal translation of the disparaging Russian expression meaning a person is not up for the task, immature or too weak for something. The closest in English is probably "there's no lead in one's pencil] We will drive out the gollywogs to where you are soon.

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A reasonable Russian woman would never marry a wog. And wog-lovers should be kicked out, because they betrayed their people. Let them live with you golliwogs, being some 35th wife always covered cap-a-pie like a mummy

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This is the funniest comment :))

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You already have a lot of Asian blood mixed in

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It's true - it's like that

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If nobody respects you, and you are treated like a terrorist, that means you are stupid yourself. If there are a lot of jobs in your home country, why would you go somewhere else? Normal people are never jobless, they always have something to do. It's better to commit suicide than clean up someone else's dirt. I am telling you, look for work in your country, you'll definitely find it.

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Kyrgyz, Uzbeks, and Tajiks will someday stop going to Russia to work there... some people are already flowing into South Korea, UAE, European countries, etc. Meanwhile, [they have to] they have to put up with humiliation because they need to make money... PERSEVERANCE AND PATIENCE WILL WIN OUT

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