In addition, the country has the Sword of Damocles of demographic decline hanging: The life expectancy of Russians is 70 years, 10 years lower than “advanced” countries, while birthrate continues to stagnate, despite the fact that in recent years, the government has implemented support programs for families willing to have more children. It was not by chance that before the crisis had severely devalued the ruble, a significant influx of intellectual workforce came from Western Europe.
According to statistical data today, there are about 11 million immigrants in Russia (mainly from the Central Asian and Ukrainian republics, but also from the Caucasus and Vietnam) to which should be added a variable quota of 4-6 million illegal immigrants. Chinese immigration is practically absent, it does not exceed 100,000 people. In order to prevent the typical phenomenon of Chinese colonizing migration, the government has issued an ad hoc law in which foreign firms in the commercial sector are obliged to hire the local workforce.
The real problem of immigration in Russia remains acceptance and solidarity. Paradoxically, in recent years several Russian NGOs have assumed this role, despite the government’s suspicion. Last year, the mayor of Moscow appealed to the Russians to participate in the traditional New Year concert in the Red Square. In recent years, the square has been filled by young Asians, arriving from the Moscow suburbs to celebrate with a few coins the arrival of the new year.
The Russian Orthodox Church, unlike the Catholic one, does not support the solidarity efforts. Actually, it often blows on the fire of the great Russian nationalism. Until a few years ago, the neo-fascist and xenophobic right had free hands for incursions and pogroms in the markets against immigrants, but it must be acknowledged that the Russian government has long since changed its attitude and has quashed the phenomenon that threatened to turn the suburbs of Russian cities into small universes of “low-intensity civil wars.”