The December monitoring of the RANEPA provides figures on how much the number of migrants in Russia has decreased in 2020:
“In the last four years (2016–2019), the number of foreigners temporarily staying in Russia during the year has ranged from 9.2 to 11.5 million people, with a minimum at the beginning of the year and a maximum in summer - at the beginning of autumn. The beginning of 2020 was fully consistent with these statistics; at the end of January, 10.3 million foreigners were staying in Russia. However, the closure of Russian borders for entry and exit in March 2020 radically changed the dynamics. The indicator decreased every month (primarily due to a radical reduction in entry), and by the beginning of winter 2020 the number of foreigners staying in Russia was the lowest in all recent years. As of December 1, 2020, there were 7.8 million foreign citizens in Russia, i.e. 2.5 million less than at the beginning of the year.
The smallest decrease in the number of those arriving from Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan - by 19 and 20%, respectively, and the largest - the stay of citizens of Ukraine, Moldavia and Kazakhstan - by 39%.
As before, 97% of labor migrants are from the CIS countries, while 74% are from the three Central Asian countries.
Regional budgets also suffer from the reduction in the number of migrants. For 11 months of 2020, labor migrants transferred 43.5 billion rubles to regional budgets. (advance tax payments for patents), in 2019 over the same period - 56.1 billion (a decrease of 22%). These payments are mostly provided by labor migrants from just two Central Asian countries - Uzbekistan and Tajikistan: in 11 months they have issued 92% of all patents".
In this regard, at the end of 2020, at a meeting of the State Council, representatives of the "building block" in the Russian government announced a large shortage of migrant workers at construction sites and lobbied to simplify their arrival from Central Asia.
Lobbyists refer to the fact that since 1.5 million guest workers who worked at the capital's construction sites have not returned to Russia due to the pandemic, the cost of construction will increase by an average of 7%.
The agrarians also speak of losses: there was no one to harvest in a number of farms, where they also got used to focusing on guest workers. To solve this problem, in their opinion, will be able to import workers from neighboring countries in a simplified manner.
Network analyst Vitaly Drobyshev writes in relation to these plans:
“And all this against the backdrop of a catastrophic rise in unemployment, falling incomes of indigenous citizens and, again, a decline in the indigenous Russian population.
Back in early autumn, the Russian government announced a significant increase in unemployment - more than 3.5 times since April. Of course, there are many reasons for this, because thousands of enterprises have closed in the Russian Federation. But Asian migrants simply take jobs from ordinary citizens, remaining a cheaper labor force. Guest workers can often split one rate for two, so local residents do not want to take full pay for the same salary. Despite the fact that the qualifications of the inhabitants of mountain villages involved in complex construction processes are incredibly low, which ultimately affects the quality of construction work.
(...) But it is much more difficult for a Russian to move to Russia than an Uzbek or a Tajik - many more artificial obstacles have been created for him. Russian compatriots from France report that the consulates even deny them the right to obtain a passport, "demanding to justify their usefulness to Russia".
At the same time, even Asians who do not speak Russian at all are considered useful by default..."
Meanwhile, the author recalls, the past year will become one of the most "deadly" for the Russian Federation, contributing to the continuing trend of population decline in the country. According to the operational statistics of Rosstat, for 11 months of 2020, the natural population decline reached 574.8 thousand people.
During this period, according to Rosstat, 1,881 million people died in the Russian Federation, which is 229.7 thousand more than in the same period last year. The government tried to explain the increase in the number of deaths by the "pandemic" COVID-19 - now, in Putin's environment, it explains any failures. But the mortality rate in the Russian Federation has been growing for several years in a row, the trend was outlined long before the appearance of the "coronavirus".
The situation with the birth rate is no better. According to Rosstat, from January to November 2020, 1.308 million children were born in the Russian Federation. This is 59.4 thousand less than in the same period last year. As a result, the country achieved a birth rate of 9.7 children per thousand of the population, which is the lowest value over the past 18 years.
This, according to the analyst, is an exact indicator of the outright failure of the Kremlin's policy, which can already be accurately explained by no "pandemic". Today the birth rate in the country is 1.61. This means that conventionally, such a number of children, on average, one woman gives birth to in her life. In Tajikistan, this figure is 3.55, and in Turkmenistan - 2.78.
For the second decade, the Russian authorities have been compensating for the decline in the population by importing migrants. However, this year migrants chose to stay in their native villages, which immediately revealed the real demographic situation in the country: an increase in mortality, a drop in birth rates, plus staff shortages and, at the same time, unemployment.
Over the past two decades, Moscow and several other large cities, sitting on financial flows, have been "sucking" the working population from the rest of the country. People go for higher salaries and seeming career prospects. However, in conditions of crowding, overcrowding and constant stress, they are no longer able to start full-fledged families and give birth to two or more children.
On the other hand, the regions from which the population outflow is covered by poverty, desolation and social degradation, which also does not contribute to an increase in the birth rate. In the next 80 years, if the current situation persists, the population of the Russian Federation will decrease by 40 million people, or about 30%.
According to the author, the country's authorities deliberately drove the population into a desperate situation. The ethnic composition changes from year to year, filling cities with immigrants from Central Asia, while citizens are told about the demographic pit of the 90s, which, against the background of the current pit, is not a problem at all.
“The further development of the situation is quite predictable: further growth in unemployment, the dominance of migrants and a rapid decline in the Russian population”, - the analyst concludes.