Where did all the Ukrainian refugees go…?
The population of Russia is growing again – because Russia accepts millions of Ukrainian refugees. Russia is supposed to be a world-class bully again – but if so (and it is indeed making things in Syria even more vicious than ‘we’ already did…) it is clearly playing outside its league. It is a country with a dwindling population and a dwindling GDP. But while preparing the graph above, I wondered why, after the post 1990 demographic catastrophe (look here for a The Lancet article about the neoliberal, privatization related origins of this tragedy) the Russian population had not declined more than it did. The answer: immigration. Recently, Russia seems to have absorbed 3 million refugees from Ukraine, which were to quite an extent resettled in Siberia where they seem to be badly needed to boost Agricultural output. Not your destination of choice? Well, anything better than ‘The Jungle’ in Calais… I’m not a friend of a despot like Putin. But giving refugees a chance (even a forced chance like this) to build houses and a life seems more positive and productive than demolishing their shelters, which is what the EU just did in Calais. Which is exactly what seems to be happening in the EU. Poland accepted hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian refugees too, by the way, by giving them temporary rights to work.