Russia today is experiencing significant pressure from both external (Central Asia, Transcaucasia) and internal migration flows (North Caucasus). Kondopoga, the events on Manezhnaya Square, Biryulyovo - clearly show that the situation, if not out of control, is on the verge. In this sense, it is interesting to compare the situation in Russia with neighboring Belarus.
Of course, many parameters will be incomparable, and direct comparisons are often incorrect, but you should pay attention to some moments of fundamental approaches to external migration.
Immediately after the collapse of the USSR, processes similar to those in Russia occurred — the criminalization of society, the active penetration of the “guests from the south” trade and other well-known “charms” of the transition period: racketeering, extortion, financial frauds, currency transactions, prostitution, drug trafficking, outright banditry. The scale of all this was, of course, incomparable with the Russian realities of the same period, but life ceased to be calm and predictable. It is clear that the numerous "luck catchers" from the sunny republics also did not stand aside, trying to participate in the division of the half-unowned post-Soviet pie.
All sorts of "thieves in law", "authorities" and other shadow characters tried to take control of entire areas of activity. Representatives of the Caucasus did not lag behind, especially since the coronations of Belarusian thieves in law were held with the direct participation of Georgian criminal leaders.
The most attractive “activity” for Caucasians who are prone to crime was the illegal cross-border trade in tobacco products and alcohol of the Polish spill. Quickly pushing aside local authorities, the “guests from the south” took this trade and the Belarusian “shuttle traders” under complete control, receiving very decent money. The Caucasian diaspora in Brest was multinational, but its core was Chechens. Pretty quickly, during 1992-1993, a real ethnic enclave was formed in Brest from several thousand immigrants from the Caucasus. Brest residents even nicknamed Bogdanchuk Street, where migrants settled, “Dudayev Street”.
The emerged criminal ethnic "ghetto" quickly made itself felt. At first the schoolgirl was killed. In Brest began unrest. Young people gathered near the city executive committee building and made demands to the authorities to evict Caucasians from the city. The Belarusian business was also consolidated, dissatisfied with constant extortion and threats. Enterprises and institutions began collecting signatures demanding the eviction of uninvited guests. The second crime committed by migrants added fuel to the fire - the robbery attack on the Minsk currency sportsman. Protests thereafter intensified.
Following the example of the Russian authorities, the Brest City Council did not fight the local “nationalists and extremists”, but decided to abolish the temporary residence permit for representatives of the Transcaucasus, the North Caucasus and other southern regions of the former USSR.
Inspections of all commercial structures related to restless migrants have been carried out. The tightening of passport control led Caucasians from Brest to the countryside and other regions. Gradually, however, such measures were taken throughout Belarus, although in general the situation remained difficult.
10 July 1994 won the second round in the first presidential election won by Alexander Lukashenko, gaining 80,1% of votes. The first Belarusian president received a ruined economy and a country entangled in criminal clans. By the end of 1994, there were about 150 OPG in Belarus, which numbered from 35 to more than 100 people. The system of "obshak" widely functioned. In all of this, alien ethnic criminal groups were directly involved.
About the rampant crime says the following significant fact. As a result of 1993, more than 100 000 crimes were recorded, while in the Soviet 1988 year - less than 50 000. The population was anxious and fearful.
The young Belarusian leader immediately began to restore order. In February, 1994 was arrested on charges of organizing a criminal group, the most authoritative Belarusian thief in the law - Pyotr Naumenko (Naum) from Vitebsk, who was engaged in extortion. A few months later, he unexpectedly died in the Vitebsk detention center, according to the official version, from a drug overdose. The vacant place was taken by Vladimir Klesch (Shavlik).
However, Lukashenko’s early years in power were characterized, above all, by his confrontation with the opposition. Naturally, this could not but affect the criminogenic situation - at the end of 1996, in Belarus, there were already 300 organized crime groups with a total of up to 3 000 people. In 1997, 130 000 crimes were already committed. It was in June 1997 that the law “On measures to combat organized crime and corruption” was adopted in the country.
The real scourge of Belarus was crime on the highways (especially at the Olympic Games Brest-Moscow), illegal smuggling of industrial alcohol from the territory of the Baltic states to Russia and economic crimes. All this illegal activity brought considerable profits to ethnic gangs actively participating in it. To combat these manifestations, Lukashenko has created a State Control Committee. In Mogilev, the head of the State Control Committee was a deputy of the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of the Republic of Belarus, E. Mikolutsky, who immediately crossed the road of the “vodka mafia”. The deputy at the end of September 1997, whether jokingly or seriously, said that "they promised to send a sniper for him." 6 September 1997, as a result of the terrorist attack (explosion) Mikolutsky was killed. His wife was hospitalized with serious injuries.
For Belarus, this loud murder had the most serious consequences. Lukashenko, speaking the next day at the Palace of Pioneers, was very emotional: “The criminals have long been selected for the president - it did not work out. We decided to start with people who were close to him, who always carried out his will. I understand that this is a challenge. He is cast. Here, on the land of Mogilev, I want to declare this scum to accept its challenge ... Remember, gentlemen, the earth will burn under your feet! .. For too long we have been milling with these scum. And as a result, we lose our people. ”
Hot on the heels it turned out that the authorities were also involved in the murder of Mikolutsky. The true scale of the underworld networks has been exposed.
October 21 1997 Belarusian President signed a decree "On urgent measures to combat terrorism and other particularly dangerous violent crimes." According to this decree, law enforcement agencies received the right to detain persons suspected of committing crimes for up to one month without charge.
A large-scale offensive on all fronts began. On the Brest-Moscow highway, specially created mobile groups destroyed gangster groups. A lot of corruption cases were initiated, the passport regime was tightened.
Criminal prone migrants felt uncomfortable. At first, they hoped to wait out everything, continuing to control the markets, but regular inspections and other measures acquired not a one-time, but a permanent one. And the Belarusians themselves more and more often avoided the counters, behind which the southerners stood, side by side. At first, visitors from the south tried to somehow retain control over trade - they hired Belarusian sellers, bought private houses around the markets, using them as storage space. However, migration from the south faced the problem of the economic inefficiency of living in Belarus. Even many of those Azerbaijanis who had been selling mandarins in Belarus for several decades in Soviet times even went to Russia.
This of course did not happen on the same day, but gradually the migrants began to leave Belarus, moving back to Russia. Due to constant checks by the police, swarthy refugees who at one time begged in Belarusian cities felt uncomfortable and disappeared as quickly as they appeared.
Thus, the decisive struggle of the Belarusian authorities against crime and corruption knocked the ground out of the mass migration (both illegal and legal) from under their feet - it was not profitable and not safe to come to Belarus. An integrated approach worked in which, in addition to tightening law enforcement actions, the economic component of illegal migration from the south was undermined.
In the same Brest, by the end of the 90s, only a few dozen Chechens remained. The same thing happened in Minsk and other Belarusian cities.
At the same time, it was Lukashenko who helped the Chechen refugees when, during the second Chechen war, the European Union refused to accept them and Chechen families found themselves in a difficult situation in Brest.
Then, in separate Chechen families, as a token of gratitude, they even called the children the name Alexander. It was the best proof that the Belarusian president fought not with the people, but with criminality and attempts to impose other people's customs on the Belarusians.
The fight against crime continued. 10 December 1997, the thief Shchavlik went missing after he left the apartment to drive the car to the parking lot. Some of the thieves were put in jail, the rest left Belarus in a hurry, realizing that there was nothing good in the future, if they remained, they did not expect them. Rumors have multiplied that there are some special groups involved in the physical destruction of criminals. The opposition press also wrote about this. The president himself only strengthened this effect by publicly stating the following: “I warned them all: God forbid, somewhere you will create a criminal situation - I’m trying to tear everyone’s head off. Do you remember these fellows and others? And where are they now? Therefore, the country has order and everyone is happy. ”
Thieves and authorities who did not leave on time disappeared under mysterious circumstances. According to unconfirmed reports, some of the remaining leaders of the organized criminal group were taken to the forest beyond the Minsk ring road and conducted “preventive conversations” with shooting over their heads. Such “conversations” turned out to be quite effective - even the most “unintelligent” began to leave Belarus.
Finally, mass illegal migration from the Caucasus to Belarus was ended in 1999. In September, the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Belarus conducted a pre-planned large-scale operation "Landslide" to identify foreign citizens illegally staying on the territory of the republic and to stabilize the operational situation on the streets. The places of residence of foreigners, stations, hotels, markets were carefully checked. During the operation, approximately 4 000 immigrants were detained and questioned, both from the North Caucasus and Transcaucasia. 500 people were fined, others (there were about two hundred of them) were offered to leave Belarus in a good way.
Caucasians could no longer trade without documents in the markets, they were constantly checked by district police officers in places of residence, and the Belarusians themselves were very reluctant to rent their apartments to the Southerners.
In the middle of June, 1999 was pronounced a verdict on the murderers of E. Mikolutsky - they (all Belarusians) were sentenced to long prison terms.
As a result, at the turn of the twenty-first century, the problem of criminality and illegal migration in Belarus was solved. Later, Caucasians partially returned to Belarus - for doing business, playing sports, studying, and scientific activities. However, the creation of its own closed areas, mass gatherings, various “Lezginki” in the center of the city, and similar realities that have long been customary in Russia, was out of the question. Today, with 9,5 million population in Belarus, there are about 30 000 Caucasians. However, they try not to attract attention to themselves, so as not to have unnecessary problems with the Ministry of Internal Affairs. In the Belarusian markets you can see Chinese more often than Caucasians.
Thus, it is obvious that the problem of illegal migration turned out to be completely interconnected with the problem of organized crime.
Moreover, traditionally the leading role in criminal circles, both in the USSR and in the post-Soviet space, is played by Caucasian and, above all, Georgian thieves in law, who often also control illegal migration flows. The same numerous markets and various “vegetable bases” in Moscow are under the control of not Slavic criminals, but those who come from the North Caucasus and Azerbaijan.
By significantly reducing crime, in Belarus by the beginning of the twenty-first century created an extremely unfavorable situation for illegal migration.
In this sense, the first decade of the new century was rather calm in Belarus. Of course, corruption and crime have not completely disappeared - which is only a large-scale criminal case about the organized crime group of “firefighters” in Gomel, engaged in extortion and banditry. However, this organized criminal group, as well as periodically arising others, was crushed. The main principle of Lukashenko has become a decisive struggle against any attempts to create alternative centers of power and power - be it an organized criminal group or ethnic criminal groups. Therefore, crime, including ethnic, in Belarus is, but it is forced to go into deep shadow, as it was during Soviet times.
In the village, a significant modernization was carried out, thousands of agro-towns of 2,5 were created - villages built almost anew with modern infrastructure. However, alcoholism in the village (as well as in the city) was never managed to get rid of. Small and medium-sized villages are becoming empty and dying out, and it was there that displaced people from Uzbekistan and, especially, Tajikistan, rushed at the beginning of the century. They occupied empty villages, raised cattle and ... tried to sell drugs. The latter, due to the Belarusian specifics, did not go very well, so just like the Caucasian migration in the 90-s, the Central Asian zero-wave turned out to be unsuccessful for the migrants themselves.
Russians, Tatars, Chuvash who came from the Russian Federation, and Ukrainians who migrated to the Gomel and Brest regions in the south much more successfully integrated into Belarus.
It would seem that the problem of illegal migration, like the rampant crime, was completely solved. However, unfortunately, in recent years there has been a tendency to exacerbate ethnic conflicts, which are to blame for both the objective reasons and the Belarusian authorities themselves. Attempts by migrants (both from non-CIS countries and from the regions of the Caucasus and Central Asia) were intensified to use Belarus as a transit territory for moving to the European Union - both illegal and for quite legitimate reasons as refugees. Already in the 2011 year in Belarus, in the area of the Belarusian-Polish border, Chechen militants and other foreign (and mixed) groups were trying to establish channels for illegal border crossing. In this sense, Belarus, with the assistance of Russia, without receiving any parity support from the EU, carries a serious burden on the protection of the borders of the Union State and the European Union.
In 2012, 69 violations of the state border were recorded, and the majority were committed by people from the Caucasus. It became clear that Belarus is becoming an important transit link for illegal migration to the EU countries. In the same year 2012, only through Brest, more than 20,3 thousands of people from the Caucasus region tried to get to Europe. Of these, 11,4, thousands of people (that is, more than half!) Were detained by the Polish side and returned back to Belarus. It is this contingent of uninvited guests that is largely guilty of the aggravation of the criminal situation in recent times - they prefer not to return home, but temporarily settle in Belarus, waiting for an opportune moment for repeated attempts to get to the EU countries as refugees or to organize illegal channels for migration. Accordingly, attempts to penetrate into the Caucasus ethnic organized crime groups were resumed.
Interestingly, this was most clearly manifested in the midst of the economic crisis in May 2011 that struck Belarus. Then the authorities tried to artificially restrain the collapse of the Belarusian ruble, and in the exchange offices the lines long forgotten by the Belarusians reappeared. There was a shortage of currencies, currency dealers and citizens began to besiege the exchange offices, then here and there conflicts arose. In this situation, the visiting Caucasian organized crime groups felt like a fish in water.
All over the country shook the video posted on the Internet, which shows how Caucasians, pushing Belarusians away from the box office window in the large Minsk shopping center Korona, brazenly stated: “Today we will capture your exchangers, and tomorrow your whole Belarus!”, “ He who is not with us is below us! ”
Without hiding at all, the “guests” reported that they were representatives of an organized criminal group and had already taken control of currency exchange points at the Komarovsky market, at the Evropey supermarket and the Central Railway Station. The Belarusian police acted in the same way as their counterparts in Russia - ignored the situation, explaining that no action would be taken until “there were revealed the fact of direct threats and direct violence”.
But this intrusion attempt was soon neutralized - the hot horsemen evaporated as quickly as they appeared, and some suspiciously indifferent police officers were reminded at a higher level of what they should do. At the same time, the exchange rate of the Belarusian ruble was released, currency was abundant in exchange offices, and for ethnic criminal groups there was simply no field left for activities in this area.
However, potential “refugees” waiting for a “free window to Europe” showed their temper several times. So, October 20 2012 of the year in the large Minsk market “Zhdanovichi” there was a mass brawl between gypsies and Caucasians who arrived from Stavropol and Astrakhan Region and temporarily lived in Belarus. The reason for discord was the mobile phone - the seller and the buyer did not agree on the price. As a result, both Caucasians and Gypsies quickly convened relatives and acquaintances, and a massacre began. One of the gypsies made several shots from a traumatic pistol, but was seriously beaten for this. The police reacted quickly and almost all the participants (43 man) were detained. Most of them were fined and deported to their places of permanent residence. From what happened, conclusions were made and the market in Zhdanovichy put things in order.
In the middle of December, 2012, a mass fight between Belarusians and Caucasians took place in one of the entertainment establishments of Pinsk (Brest Region). 3 people were in intensive care, 8 - seriously injured.
Another incident occurred 31 December 2012 of the year in the Minsk metro in the very center of the capital at the Oktyabrskaya station (the one where the terrorist act had previously been committed). The verbal skirmish, started by Caucasians with local residents, quickly turned into a mass brawl right in the subway car. This time, however, Caucasians were seriously repulsed and as a result there were beats. At the Kupalovskaya station, all the participants were detained - the passengers promptly pressed the alarm button of the police in the car. In the area, the overly ardent guests popularly explained that for their own good, due to the lack of an official place of work, it is better to continue to behave extremely quietly and unnoticed or, if something does not suit, leave Belarus as quickly as possible, and Belarusians released, not considering their actions an offense.
More than half a year everything was calm, but in the same Brest near the “City” club there was a fight between the local residents and the Armenians who arrived in a car with Russian numbers. The next day, the Armenians, through representatives of their diaspora, offered the Belarusians to continue the showdown of relations near the boat station at Mukhavts. To the place of the alleged "finding out" arrived 15 local residents. A little later, 6 cars drove up in which there were about 30 people - both Armenians and Belarusians. Began a massive fight. A car with a PPP outfit at the beginning was indifferent to all this watching, confining itself to a call for help. Only after the arrival of two more police cars the fight was stopped, and its participants fled. When trying to escape by swimming either from the Armenians attacking him, or from the police that arrived, the young Belarusian drowned. Hot on the heels and during the night were detained most of the parties to the conflict. According to Belarusians, Armenians used fire and pneumatic weaponhowever, this was officially officially denied by the police. The conflict, albeit with difficulty, but still hushed.
At that, the second outbreak of interethnic conflicts between Belarusians and Caucasians, the second after 90, was almost over: the authorities were able to control everything relatively quickly.
However, a noticeable deterioration of the economic situation in Belarus has given rise to new migration problems. Many Belarusians, who in their mass represent highly skilled labor, go to work outside Belarus (first of all to Russia). They are scientists, engineers, doctors, teachers, builders, drivers and many other specialists who are dissatisfied with the low level of wages in their homeland.
Instead, the Belarusian authorities are trying to fill the gap in the labor market (first of all, working specialties) at the expense of external migration. In contrast to Russia, this is not done by private firms or criminal structures, but by the Belarusian state and state-owned enterprises.
The largest number of migrants came from China and Ukraine. Recently, more and more people come from Uzbekistan, Bangladesh and Turkey. Moreover, the experience of Russia and Europe teaches the Belarusian authorities nothing. In pursuit of short-term economic benefits, more and more voices are heard that only the active involvement of migrants will help Belarus to solve the problem of labor shortages. At the same time, it is worth noting that Belarus is trying to focus on attracting highly qualified specialists and workers. For the first half of 2013, 1 272 migrants from this category and 4 602 migrants with lower qualifications arrived in the country. It is also interesting that in recent years, the Belarusian authorities are trying to use the increase in the flow of migrants for their propaganda purposes, explaining the growth of external migration not by the outflow of their own labor resources, but by the fact that Belarus is becoming more and more attractive to foreigners. Thesis is more than doubtful. It is bad because Belarus, instead of successfully curbing external migration, as it was in previous years, is changing its approaches towards actively attracting foreigners. In addition to the countries listed above, active suppliers of labor to Belarus are Lithuania, Vietnam, Armenia and Azerbaijan.
If we talk about external migration to Belarus in the 2013 year, then in absolute numbers it looks like this. In January - September 2013 years in Belarus as labor migrants entered 4 513 citizens of Ukraine, 2 216 Chinese citizens, 2 000 - from Russia, 900 - Turkey, 870 - Lithuania, 860 - Uzbekistan, 400 - Moldova, 336 - Vietnam, 267 - Armenia, 270 - Georgia, more 100 - Poland, more 100 - Tajikistan, more 60 - Czechia, more 60 - Iran, 25 - Greece, 20 - USA, 3 - Switzerland and Japan and 1 to the representative of Australia, Argentina, Guinea Indonesia, Cameroon, Cyprus, Cuba, Libya, Morocco and Ecuador. Across Azerbaijan exact figures are absent.
If migrants from Ukraine and Lithuania, as well as other European countries, quickly and painlessly integrate into Belarusian society, while the Chinese and Vietnamese do not yet pose any particular problems, many other visitors often try to impose their own ideas about the world and life values that will inevitably generate conflicts with the local population.
Another problem is the activation of educational projects in Belarus and Turkmenistan. 8 000 students from this country are currently studying in Belarus. They live compactly in the dormitories of universities and represent a fairly cohesive and visible community for Belarus. Turkmen study on a paid basis, which is undoubtedly beneficial for Belarus. This is a personal project of the Belarusian president, and he promotes it in every way. For example, on November 5 of 2013, meeting in Ashgabat with Turkmen President G. Berdymukhamedov, the Belarusian leader assured that the training program for Turkmen students would be continued and even expanded. Moreover, he even stated that he was ready to create in Turkmenistan a kind of “Turkmen island” - in fact, an ethnic quarter with special hotels and hostels for Turkmen students. Meanwhile, in Belarus itself, not everyone is happy about such cooperation.
Of course, some students from Turkmenistan are trying to seriously master the specialties they receive, but most do not bother themselves with science, which is aggravated by the initial poor knowledge of the Russian language.
Yes, and in training, Turkmen students often violate discipline, create difficulties for teaching staff, and are often content with formal, minimally low, but sufficient for the issuance of a diploma, knowledge assessments. Such an attitude to the study of Turkmen students is also related to the fact that many of them are much more important to formally get a diploma than professional knowledge - at home they will be well employed thanks to influential and wealthy parents. At the same time, Turkmen are mainly settled in dormitories, and Belarusian students are forced to rent apartments for housing at much higher prices.
And the amount of currency entering the country is not so great - most likely, the very fact of such cooperation is necessary for the promotion of Belarusian goods in Turkmenistan and the region.
Such an abundance of students from Turkmenistan affects interethnic relations. On New Year's Eve, in the center of Minsk, a large company of Turkmen youth, heated with alcoholic beverages, set up a riot at the Palace of Sports - students loudly used obscene language, pushed the locals, climbed onto the stage. When a group of Uzbek migrant workers caught the eye of the Turkmen, they actively began to bully the latter and provoked a mass brawl in which, in addition to representatives of Central Asia, Belarusians were involuntarily involved. Police responded quickly. All the participants in the mass brawl were detained, paid heavy fines and were deported to their homeland (both Turkmen and Uzbeks).
Another unpleasant incident involving Turkmen students occurred in Vitebsk - under pressure from outraged Vitebsk residents, the authorities banned a party of Turkmen students scheduled for October 24 on 2013 at the Zebra club. The reason for the ban was that the guests from Turkmenistan, apparently having mixed up their role with the role of the hosts, went beyond what was permitted and did not hesitate to write on the poster of the Turkmen Party event: “A closed party only for students of Turkmenistan and Russian girls”. This phrase was the reason for the ban, as it angered everyone without exception - both supporters of integration with Russia and Belarusian nationalists. It is curious that the latter were very indignant at the fact that Turkmen do not see the difference between Russians and Belarusians.
At the same time, it is impossible not to admit that the Belarusian authorities control the situation, and the Turkmen students themselves, realizing that they could face deportation, often behave quite adequately.
We note, incidentally, that not only Russia creates migration problems for Belarus. So, after the August war of 2008, Minsk did not introduce visas for citizens of Georgia, which the latter actively used to illegally enter Russia. Moscow has repeatedly pointed out Belarus to this problem, so on November 4 in Minsk there were Belarusian-Georgian negotiations on the problem of combating illegal migration.
And in conclusion, I would like to emphasize that, unlike the situation in multinational Russia, in a practically mono-ethnic Belarus, where Belarusians, Russians, Ukrainians, Poles and Lithuanians are a single Russian-speaking community, the authorities are closely following the development of interethnic relations, in most cases rather quickly responding to certain incidents.
And the Belarusians themselves are not inclined to especially tolerate provocative antics, arranged by individual guests. President A.G. Lukashenko reacts sensitively to attitudes in society, without neglecting the problem of external migration.
How the situation in Belarus will evolve today is difficult to predict, but there is no doubt that for Russia this experience of a neighboring Slavic country with a strong state power may turn out to be interesting, and even somewhat instructive.