The anti-Russian forces accuse the Russian Federation of the fact that it is the fault of Moscow in Syria that an armed conflict is taking place - Russia did not promptly overthrow Bashar Assad, which is why a civil war broke out on the territory of the country, which gave a huge number of refugees. Nevertheless, the absurdity of such statements does not mean that, in general, Russia should abstract itself from the problem of Middle Eastern and North African refugees. After all, sooner or later she will face it anyway - Europe is “not rubbery,” and refugees, especially if they seem to be in Eastern European countries, may well try to penetrate into Russia. Secondly, there are still humanitarian considerations, on which Russia, if it claims the role and status of a great power, also cannot stand aside when the world faces such a serious problem as the thousands of refugees from war-torn Middle East and North African countries .
The flight of millions of Syrians to blame the US and the EU
Russian President Vladimir Putin said that “we see today the attempts being made to almost put the blame on Russia for the occurrence of the problem. Allegedly, the refugee problem arose from the fact that Russia supports the legitimate authorities in Syria. People from Syria are fleeing above all from the hostilities that are largely imposed from the outside by supplying weapons and special equipment, people are fleeing the atrocities of terrorists ”(quoted in: Putin denied accusations of Russia's involvement in the problem of refugees in Europe // http: / /www.ntv.ru/novosti/1522216/). Syrian President Bashar Assad spoke about the problem of refugees even more frankly - he believes that the European countries themselves are directly responsible for the emergence of millions of refugees. After all, the European Union, along with the United States, is one of the actual initiators and sponsors of a wave of “revolutions” that followed in the Arab world and led a number of states in the Middle East and North Africa to bloody civil wars (Libya, Syria, Yemen) or mass riots and destabilization of political situations (Egypt, Tunisia). Only in Syria alone over the past four years, during which hostilities continue, about four million people have left their homes. Most of them emigrated from a belligerent country - primarily to the nearby countries of the Middle East, as well as to the countries of Western and Eastern Europe.
Russia, as the closest ally of Syria, of course, does not remain aloof from helping the people of this long-suffering country. So, recently in Syria opened a tent camp for refugees, located in the city of Hama. Built by Russian specialists in the hippodrome, the camp is designed for 500 people, but if necessary, it can accept up to a thousand refugees. Forty kilometers from Hama, hostilities are taking place, so those civilians in Syria who are fleeing from the combat zone itself and the territory seized by fundamentalists can arrive in the camp first of all. On the square in 500 square meters there is a camp of 25 tents. It has a kitchen, shower, equipped with sleeping places. The camp is served by volunteers from a humanitarian mission. There are electric generators in the camp, there is a supply of fuel to ensure the smooth operation of the field kitchens. By the way, they cook Russian porridge in field kitchens - the overwhelming majority of Syrians try it for the first time, but, according to the media, they are quite satisfied with Russian cuisine. On September 12, two Russian aircraft delivered 80 tons of humanitarian aid to Syria, 15 tons of which are intended to provide precisely the Hama camp. Most of the refugees arrive in the camp from Idlib province, who are welcomed by the volunteers. Most likely, the creation of one tent camp will not stop there - Russia provides Syria with all-round assistance, including directly in the fight against anti-government armed formations.
Why don't the Syrians flee to the countries of the Persian Gulf?
Currently, the largest number of refugees from Syria accept neighboring countries. According to 2013, the largest number of refugees are located in Lebanon, where more than 840 are thousands of Syrians, Jordan has placed 570 thousand people, Turkey is 540 thousand, Iraq is at least 200 thousand refugees, Egypt is 130 thousand refugees. Currently, the number of Syrian refugees in these countries has increased many times. Only in Turkey alone is 1,9 million refugees, in Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Egypt - more than two million Syrians. Many political scientists and journalists are wondering why refugees are not accommodated by the rich and sparsely populated countries of the Persian Gulf - one of the initiators of the anti-Assad war in Syria. Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates - all these countries could easily accommodate refugees, providing them with jobs. Moreover, in these countries, as in Syria, they also speak Arabic, and culture has many similarities. But neither Saudi Arabia nor the other countries of the Persian Gulf are currently engaged in organizing assistance to refugees on the scale that they could well afford, given their level of financial and economic well-being.
On the contrary, when the war began in Syria, Saudi Arabia strengthened its borders. Of course, the kingdom could not remain completely aloof from the solution of the problem of refugees, but the steps that KSA takes in relation to Syrian refugees do not correlate with the real possibilities of the Saudi monarchy. So, Saudi Arabia has provided 20 food for thousands of refugees housed in a tent camp in Jordan. But is this the kind of help one would expect from the richest Arab state? Political analyst Alexander Sotnichenko - one of the major Russian experts on the Middle East, draws attention to the international legal reasons for such a policy of the Gulf countries (Sotnichenko A. Washington's students in the Middle East // http://izvestia.ru/news/591179). After all, none of these countries in 1951 has signed the United Nations Convention on the Status of Refugees. Meanwhile, on the basis of this convention, the placement of refugees in the European Union countries, the organization of their social security is provided. The countries of the Persian Gulf, which did not sign the convention, are absolutely not obliged either to accept refugees or to decide on the issues of their provision and accommodation. Therefore, the citizens of Syria in Saudi Arabia and other countries of the Persian Gulf can only be illegally, without social benefits and assistance from the state. Moreover, to get to Saudi Arabia, the citizens of Syria are obliged to obtain entry visas, therefore, all who entered without a visa are considered, according to Saudi law, as criminals. For visa-free entry, they are expected to be deported from the country. It turns out that the Gulf countries, having played a crucial role in the escalation of the conflict in the Middle East, in solving the issue of accommodating refugees and other consequences of the humanitarian catastrophe caused by the war in Syria and Iraq, remain on the sidelines. Although without participation in the Syrian conflict, they, being the richest Arab and Muslim states, could accommodate fellow tribesmen and co-religionists fleeing from war. The authorities of the United Arab Emirates have responded to politicians and journalists who criticize them that the UAE is already making a sufficient contribution to helping refugees by financing a large refugee camp located in Jordan. That is, the countries of the Persian Gulf prefer to help the easiest way - to provide money, but do not let refugees into their territory.
More clear is the position of Israel. Israel has long been in conflict with Syria — and under Bashar Assad’s father Hafez, and under Bashar Assad himself, Syrian-Israeli relations could not be called friendly. In addition, Israel is constantly becoming the target of attacks by radical fundamentalist organizations and secular armed organizations fighting for the liberation of Palestine. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu refused to let in refugees into the country, explaining that with a small territory and numerous problems. But the Israeli opposition, primarily the left parties, insist on the deployment of Syrian refugees in the country, arguing that the Jewish people themselves had been in exile for centuries and who, if not Jews, were aware of the troubles of people fleeing war and the fanatics of arbitrariness. And yet, Israel provides all possible assistance to Syrian refugees. Thus, a field hospital is deployed on the Syrian-Israeli border, which provides medical assistance to wounded and sick refugees. However, the left opposition insists on more ambitious steps by the country towards solving the problem of refugees. According to the Israeli left, the deployment of Syrian refugees is a matter of honor for Israel and the Jewish people. However, given that among the refugees there may be potential terrorists and extremists posing as civilians, it is impossible not to note the very real risks that Israel may face if borders are opened for Syrians. Moreover, Israel is already suffering from the influx of migrants from North-East Africa - a large number of refugees and labor migrants from Sudan, Somalia, Eritrea, and Ethiopia regularly enter the country. Their presence in small Israel is a fairly serious social problem, given the lack of work and refugee status among refugees and migrants and, as a result, the participation of young people in street crimes in Israeli cities.
- Photo: Reuters, Ognen Teofilovski
Russia does not attract Syrians yet
As for the placement of Syrian refugees in the territory of Russia itself, so far the number of immigrants from Syria arriving in the Russian Federation, of course, is incomparable with the enormous flow that has flowed into the countries of Europe. Refugees are sent to Europe in two key ways. First, through the Balkans - the route from Syria to Turkey and further to Greece, Serbia, Hungary is currently the most exploited. In second place - the path through the Mediterranean to Italy. The latter are sent, above all, not by the Syrians, but by refugees from Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Eritrea. Italy and Hungary today bear the greatest burden in accepting refugees from Africa and the Middle East. Already from Italy and Hungary refugees are sent to other European countries. Russia is away from the main routes of escape from the belligerent countries of the Arab East, so the number of refugees in the country is not so significant yet.
Konstantin Romodanovsky, head of the Federal Migration Service of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation, said that Russia is not of particular interest to Syrian refugees. According to the Federal Migration Service of the Russian Federation, 2015 Syrians entered 7103 a year in Russia, and 7162 drove out. All in all, on the territory of the Russian Federation, according to data on September 4 2015, there are 12 thousands of Syrian citizens. Two thousand Syrians received temporary asylum in Russia. But not all of the Syrian refugees arriving in the country are going to stay in Russia for any length of time. The countries of Northern Europe are much more interesting for Syrians; therefore, many of the refugees then try to move from Russia to Norway. Russia is becoming a country of transit migration, and the largest number of refugees accumulates in the Murmansk region - it is from here closest to Norway, where the refugees hope to receive a warm welcome. The desire to relocate to Norway or Sweden is explained by the fact that in the Scandinavian countries the task of social security for refugees arriving from countries of Asia and Africa is much better solved. Many refugees are convinced that in the Scandinavian countries they will be able to receive impressive benefits, which they will be deprived of in the Russian Federation. According to Russian border guards, about 130 refugees from the Middle East, mostly Syrian citizens, cross the Russian-Norwegian border from the Murmansk region every month. The Norwegian authorities are even going to deprive Russian taxi drivers of visas, since taxi drivers are transporting Syrians from the Murmansk region to Norway. In Murmansk, the Syrians arrive from Moscow, where, in turn, arrive from Syria. They come to Russia legally, so the border guards have no right to detain them, and the Syrians use their stay in Russia to quickly leave for the territory of Norway. Arriving in Norway through the territory of Russia turns out to be more profitable financially than traveling through Turkey to the Balkans and then to the countries of Central Europe. Therefore, those Syrians who are in Russia or fly to Moscow, then prefer to go through the Murmansk region - to Norway or through St. Petersburg - to Finland.
In addition to the “transit migrants”, a significant part of the Syrians who arrive in Russia are representatives of the peoples of the North Caucasus and Transcaucasia, whose large diasporas traditionally live in Syria. This is primarily about the Syrian "Circassians" - the descendants of the Adyghe, Abkhaz, Kabardian Muhajirs - immigrants from the Caucasus, who left for the territory of the Ottoman Empire after defeat in the Caucasian war and settled on the territory of Turkey itself, and a number of Middle Eastern states, including Syria . Almost all the representatives of such Adyg ethnic groups as Shapsugs, Abadzekhs, Natukhais, Bzhedug, Besleneevts, Temirgoevs, and Ubykhs went to the Ottoman Empire then. In addition, a large Armenian diaspora traditionally lived in Syria, many of whose representatives also rushed to emigrate to Russia after the outbreak of hostilities. The Syrian ambassador to Russia, Riad Haddad, in an interview reported such figures: “There are Syrian refugees in Russia. But not so much. These are Kabardians, who have now returned to Kabardino-Balkaria. Before the war, they lived their lives in Syria. 400 families have already moved here to Nalchik ”(quoted in: Sazhneva E. In Russia, too, there are several thousand Syrian refugees // http://www.mk.ru/politics/2015/09/06/v-rossii-tozhe -est-neskolko-tysyach-siriyskikh-bezhencev.html).
A sufficiently large number of Syrian Circassians arrived in the Republic of Adygea, where they were allocated places for resettlement in the village of Panahes. Despite the fact that the ancestors of the Syrian Circassians lived on these lands, today the Circassians come from Syria on the same basis for all foreign citizens. First they receive a temporary residence permit, then a residence permit, and at the end of their journey to historical homeland - citizenship. Most Syrian Circassians in Adygea and Kabardino-Balkaria come through Turkey. In Kabardino-Balkaria, there is someone to meet fellow tribesmen - there lives a small group of Syrian Circassians who evacuated from the Golan Heights in the early 1990s and long received Russian citizenship. Having settled in Russia, the descendants of the Muhajirs assist tribesmen in moving to Adygea or Kabardino-Balkaria. At the same time, the resettlement of Syrian Circassians to the North Caucasian republics has a reverse side. It is well known about the activities of Circassian national organizations that require recognition of the events of the Caucasian War as the genocide of the Circassian population. It is clear that the Russian Federation is not profitable to host refugee groups on its territory, which may become a potential basis for opposition organizations of a nationalist nature. The return of the Muhajirs is one of those concepts on which modern Circassian nationalism is based today. Of course, if a bloody war had not started on the territory of the Middle East states, most of the descendants of the Muhajirs would never have thought of returning to Russia. Even the few thousand Syrian Circassians who arrived in Russia over the past twenty years are a very small amount compared to the multimillion-dollar Circassian diaspora, which today inhabits almost all the countries of the Middle East and even North Africa - Circassians live in Turkey, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Israel, Iraq, Egypt, Libya and many other states. Traditionally, they played an important role in the army, police, special services of the Middle Eastern states, many Turkish and Arab generals left the Circassian diasporas. Naturally, if it makes sense to foreign Circassians to return to their historical homeland, then only in exceptional situations. One of these situations occurred after the outbreak of the civil war in Syria and Iraq. Of course, among the millions of refugees who left Syria, there are a significant number of Circassians. But nevertheless, it should be noted that the Circassians are more focused on a temporary trip to Turkey than to Russia. This is facilitated by the policy of favoring Turkey in relation to the Circassians from the diasporas of the Middle Eastern states. Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu bluntly stated that Turkey is a home for the Circassians, and they can always count on the help of the Turkish state. As for the Abkhazians, some of whom also lived in Syria, the Republic of Abkhazia is ready to accept them. Of course, for this to happen, some work will have to be done in terms of adapting people who for generations have lived in a completely different country and a different culture to living conditions in a new place of residence. However, through the joint efforts of the state, the public, and representatives of the diaspora, this problem can certainly be solved in a positive way.
The media reported that until the end of 2014, there were at least 2 thousands of Syrians in Russia. Most of them came to Russia before the outbreak of the war in Syria, as employees. However, when hostilities began in their homeland, they had no choice but to stay in Russia. According to the journalist Muiz Abu Jadal, a Syrian citizen living in the Russian Federation and dealing with the issues of organizing assistance to Syrian citizens, as early as 1990. a network of garment factories created by immigrants from the Syrian city of Aleppo appeared on the territory of the Russian Federation. From the same region of Syria, there were also the majority of wage workers invited to garment factories. In Russia, people from Syria settled in Noginsk and Losino-Petrovsk. Before the war, they kept their families in Syria, regularly sending remittances to their homeland, but the “Arab Spring” made its tragic corrections, and today the workers have not to send money to Syria, but to export their loved ones to Russia. In Noginsk, there were families of Syrian workers — a large number of children, since five — seven sons and daughters — are a normal number for an average Syrian family. Naturally, the Syrians needed education for their children, but here the Syrian citizens faced opposition from the structures of the Ministry of Education and Science, because according to Russian legislation, citizens of the Russian Federation or children of persons officially employed in the Russian Federation can receive education in Russia. Syrians living in Noginsk, tried to get out of this situation in their own way. At the end of 2014, journalist Muiz Abu Jadal began teaching 6-12 children for years at a rented premises and even hired Arab and English teachers for them. Almost all students are children of Syrians working in Noginsk garment factories. About the improvised school, opened by Muiz Abu Jadal, reported several Russian media. Human rights organizations attempted to draw attention to the really acute problem of helping refugees, but they were guilty of employees of the local education and migration services departments, although the latter only carry out their job descriptions and do not have the right to be guided by emotions when carrying out their professional activities. Yes, children (and adults) fleeing from war are really sorry, and it’s bad that children cannot study at the Russian school. However, this is the law - first, Syrian citizens should legalize the status of members of their families on the territory of the Russian Federation.
Mass acceptance of refugees could hurt Russia
The Russian Migration Service is not eager to issue permits for a large number of Syrian citizens to reside in the country. It should be noted that such a position of the Russian authorities has quite weighty arguments. Firstly, the socio-economic situation in modern Russia does not allow for the Russian economy, without serious consequences, to accept a large number of refugees from another state who do not speak Russian and have no idea about life in Russia. Who will work these people in a country where not all of their own citizens can find a job? At best, they will be employed in the field of unskilled labor, but several problems will inevitably arise here: 1) not all refugees, especially from among the youth, will want to work in non-prestigious and underpaid positions; 2) taxes from meager wages of unskilled workers will also be scanty; 3) labor competition with Russian citizens will arise, which may lead to destabilization of interethnic relations in the country. Secondly, in Russia there are hundreds of thousands of refugees from the Donbass, who also need social security, employment, accommodation, and European countries, unlike Russia, did not take any part in solving the problems of Donetsk and Lugansk refugees. Arriving in the border regions of the Russian Federation, refugees from the Donbass find shelter and food, and then get the opportunity to follow other regions of the country, are employed and, given the lack of language and ethno-cultural differences, calmly adapt to the conditions of life in Russian society. Adaptation of Syrian refugees can cause significant difficulties - after all, first of all, they will need to be taught Russian, at least at a level sufficient for everyday communication, and for children to understand the program of elementary school classes. It is not clear who will take on the responsibilities of adapting Syrian refugees. Public organizations for this have neither human resources, nor financial and organizational capabilities.
Thirdly, there are big concerns about the presence of activists and sympathizing radical fundamentalist organizations in the stream of refugees from the Middle East, including the leading hostilities in Syria and Iraq. Russia already has a number of problems related to the spread of religious extremism in the North Caucasus and in the migrant environment, and the acceptance of a significant number of Syrian refugees will only aggravate the situation. However, so far there are practically no problems from a small number of Syrians living in Russia. At least, the Syrians do not appear in the crime reports and try to lead a law-abiding and decent lifestyle. Many of them are qualified specialists, benefiting the Russian economy and sufficiently adapted to the conditions of life in Russian society. But in this case we are talking about those Syrians who have been living in Russia for a long time, received education here, got employed, entered into marriage relations with citizens of the Russian Federation and gradually adapted to life in Russian society. How will the Syrians, who arrived in the country, behave is unknown. There are no guarantees that, along with the refugees, religious extremists will not infiltrate the country’s territory, whose activities could seriously damage the stabilization of interethnic and interfaith relations in the Russian Federation. Therefore, many Syrians today are denied asylum in the Russian Federation from the Federal Migration Service of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation. Those of them who may reasonably be suspected of having links with extremist and terrorist organizations operating in Syria are detained by law enforcement agencies and expelled from the country to Syria, where the relevant Syrian special services are already engaged.
- photo: http://abnews.ru/
Asylum for the most vulnerable
In general, the position of the Russian leadership on the placement of Syrian refugees can be regarded as quite reasonable. Indeed, the main responsibility for the emergence of a conflict situation in Syria and the subsequent civil war in the country is borne by the United States, the European Union countries, and the states of the Persian Gulf. They are the ones who provide financial, organizational and informational support to the anti-Assad armed opposition. Secondly, Russia alone “clears up” the consequences of a humanitarian catastrophe in the Donbass. European countries, as mentioned above, do not provide any substantial assistance to Donetsk and Lugansk refugees. Thirdly, political considerations also play a big role. For obvious reasons, the Russian authorities are afraid of the appearance in the country of a weakly controlled large diaspora of immigrants from the Arab countries of the Middle East. At the same time, Russia cannot completely isolate itself from solving the problem of Syrian refugees - its participation requires, at least, considerations of the country's political image at the world level. And here a selective approach to the accommodation of Syrian refugees can be quite reasonable. For example, Russia can only give permission for the temporary placement of women and children, restricting the right to enter the country for men of working age. If the reception of refugees is carried out for humanitarian purposes, then women and children are precisely those categories of refugees who need exactly humanitarian assistance. Young and able-bodied men can either do their duty in the Syrian armed forces fighting against fundamentalists, or emigrate to EU countries in search of work and then send money from there to support their families in Russia. Human rights activists will say that it is not humane to divide families, but also to put the country's national security and public order at risk of possible negative actions by some refugees is also not very far-sighted.
Another option is the introduction of quotas for the admission of refugees from national and religious minorities of Syria, who could face inevitable death if the traditional places of their residence are occupied by fanatics. For example, Russia can provide more effective support to Syrian Christians. For centuries, Russia has positioned itself as a defender of Christianity in the Middle East. A number of political and military conflicts with the Ottoman Empire was caused, among other things, by the desire to protect Balkan, Transcaucasian and Middle Eastern Christians from the discriminatory policies of Istanbul. Today in Syria, Christianity is actually being destroyed. Militants of fundamentalist organizations destroy churches and monasteries, burn Christian literature, kill, mutilate and rob the Christian population. Meanwhile, Syria - the oldest Christian land and the disappearance of Christianity in Syria will be equivalent to the end of Christianity in the Middle East. We should not forget that among Syrian Christians - Arabs, Armenians, Assyrians - there are many educated and qualified people who, if emigrated to Russia, after a certain adaptation, will be able to make their own contribution to the development of the Russian economy. Lebanese and Syrian Christians, in the XIX-XX centuries. migrants to Latin America and West Africa, they have gained a strong position in the private sector. In the current situation, Hungary is an example of assistance to Christians in the Middle East. In this country, according to Prime Minister Viktor Orban, over the past few years 1500 families of Middle Eastern Christians have taken refuge, arrived on the recommendations of Eastern Christian churches. 18 September 2015 it became known that the Vatican accepted the first family of Syrian refugee Christians. A husband, wife and two children were placed in the apartment of one of the houses in the territory of the smallest state in the world.
Russia already has experience in accommodating Christians - refugees from the Middle East. In the XIX - the first half of the twentieth centuries. several waves of migrants were sent to the Russian empire, and then to the Soviet Union — mostly from Turkey and Iran. Assyrians and Armenians fleeing persecution from the authorities and religious fanatics found refuge in Russian cities and villages. Thus, in the Krasnodar Territory there is the village of Urmia, the only place of compact Assyrian residence in Russia, although the impressive diasporas of representatives of this ancient people live in Moscow, Rostov-on-Don, and some other large cities. Already in 1990-s. a large number of Kurds and Yezidis settled in Russia, among them not only natives of the former Transcaucasian and Central Asian republics of the Soviet Union, but also people from Turkey, Syria and Iraq. In the Yaroslavl region, the International Union of Kurdish public organizations bought the former pioneer camp "Sunny", on the territory of which a compact settlement of Kurds appeared, supporting the Kurdistan Workers' Party. An impressive Kurdish diaspora lives in Tambov, as well as in the Krasnodar Territory and the Republic of Adygea.
When accepting refugees from Syria, the Russian authorities, first of all, should carefully check their biographies, determine the potential problematic and undesirability of their stay in the Russian Federation. The basis of migration policy should be to ensure the protection of the country from the infiltration of extremist elements that may contribute to the destabilization of the social and political situation in Russia. Also, for political reasons, Russia should refrain from admitting on its territory citizens of Syria who were or are in opposition to the current President Bashar Assad and his government. If the life and health of the representatives of the anti-Assad opposition threaten anything on the territory of Syria, then they can go to the European Union countries, the United States, to Turkey, but not enjoy the right to asylum in the country, which is one of the key allies of Assad. Moreover, the activities of Syrian citizens who are representatives of the anti-Assad opposition in the territory of the Russian Federation may also raise certain suspicions.
Meanwhile, in Russia there were also influential forces in favor of allowing the admission of Syrian refugees. The newspaper Izvestiya 10 of September 2015 reported that the Presidential Council for the Development of Civil Society and Human Rights (HRC) under the President of the Russian Federation would soon appeal to the country's leadership to allow Syrian refugees to be admitted to the territory of the Russian Federation. According to the member of the HRC Maxim Shevchenko, Russia could accommodate up to ten thousand refugees from Syria, in the first place - the Syrian Circassians. Shevchenko emphasizes that the majority of Syrian Circassians in Syria lived in rural areas, therefore, settling in the southern regions of Russia, Circassians will not migrate to the capital, but will be engaged in agricultural production. It is supposed to accommodate refugees in Adygea, Kabardino-Balkaria, Karachay-Cherkessia and Krasnodar Territory - on the historical lands of the Adyg peoples. However, the South of Russia is a fairly densely populated land. Unlike the central zone, and even more so - the Urals and Siberia, there are practically no free places for development here. Will the arrival of a large number of refugees from Syria cause discontent among the local population? After all, what to hide, the level of social security in the Russian province needs to be improved for the citizens of the country, and here, foreigners who need to be accommodated, adapted to Russian life, teach their children, employ adult family members. In general, the issue of the deployment of Syrian refugees remains controversial and, it is hoped, government bodies will listen to all points of view and make an informed decision in the interests of Russia and its people.