Autumn relocation: how migrants from Russia are welcomed in Uzbekistan

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Autumn relocation: how migrants from Russia are welcomed in Uzbekistan

It is warm, light and calm in Tashkent, the streets smell of samsa and fresh bread, persimmons and pomegranates bend under the weight of fruits, nuts fall under your feet. This is how the Uzbek capital has been welcoming relocators of the second wave since September 2022 — the first was in March, and since the beginning of the year, tens of thousands of people have moved to Uzbekistan from Russia.

You will not be surprised by the influx of guests: during the Great Patriotic War, it received more than a million evacuees, and even earlier it had become a refuge for emigrants more than once.

How new settlers feel here and how local residents help them – in the material “Subtleties”.1/1

Louise and relocators

A little more than 100,000 Russians now live in Tashkent , but the new arrivals are visible to the naked eye: only yesterday's Russians wear shorts in October (it's warm!) And do not run across the road at a red light. Mostly they are young men – well-dressed and trimmed, with expensive gadgets, seemingly quite prosperous.

In fact, they are all equally confused: even at the beginning of the year, many could not have imagined that they would end up in Uzbekistan, but today they stand in queues for registration and do not understand why their phones do not work.

The telegram channel “Relocation to Uzbekistan” has become a kind of guide to a new life for the migrants. Luiza Salimetova, a resident of Tashkent, created it in March to organize useful information, and today it is a large community with 28,000 subscribers. In his chats, you can find the answer to almost any question: how to get a local SIM card, register a phone, open a bank account, where to buy food and clothes, rent an apartment, learn Uzbek, where to go on vacation.

Through Relocation to Uzbekistan, many have found work, acquaintances and friends: from time to time face-to-face meetings are organized for relocators. Those who have money gather in bars and restaurants, learn how to cook pilaf and dance Uzbek dances. For those who came to Tashkent with one backpack, free promotions are held.

Nargiza and plov

Delicate and shy Nargiza, the owner of a small Tashkent cafe, decided to gather the most needy relocators and treat them to plov. “Here it’s not just a portion of pilaf, but to show people and let them feel that you are not alone! The idea of ​​supporting everyone, especially those in need. So that you feel great in Uzbekistan and know that many doors are open for you and we want to support each of you in such a difficult period for the whole society,” she writes in Telegram.

Nargiza is worried that very few visitors signed up for the meeting, and even fewer came: not everyone is ready to admit that they are in need. To the tables placed on the street under the plane trees, newcomers pull up timidly and as if reluctantly, but over the Tashkent plov they come to life and share their stories.1/1

“We were immediately poured tea, fed and served breakfast every morning, although we said that we would not be able to pay for it ”, the Russian woman says.

Voices of relocation

Anna is a doctor from Petersburg. Together with her future husband, they arrived in Uzbekistan on September 25. “We had been planning our departure since February: we wanted to go to Thailand, but in September the tickets went up in price to 500,000 rubles. First we flew to Samarkand, literally with two backpacks, we took clothes for only one season. Good thing it's warm in here! We stayed in the cheapest hostel, without breakfast, without anything. But we were immediately poured tea, fed, and every morning they served us breakfast, although we said that we would not be able to pay for it. This is the most surprising thing, we did not expect such a reception, ”recalls Anya.

From Samarkand, the guys moved to Tashkent, through friends they rented a room from their family in the mahalla for 250 USD. “We were going to get married in St. Petersburg in October, but we left, and the wedding did not take place. A new application has been submitted here for November. It's good in Tashkent, persimmons and nuts ripen in the yard. But we were rented a room for only 2 months, in the house there is a family, children, it is difficult to work. My husband is a psychologist, he works remotely, so far I have only found a part-time job – telemedicine. I don’t know what we will do next – perhaps we will unite with friends and still leave for Thailand, ”says the girl.1/1

“I don't know what to do next” is the general mood of many relocators.

“I came for 2 weeks for work, and I don’t know what’s next. After work, I sit in a room alone and think – what to do next? Return to Moscow? Or not? I don’t know where to get away from these thoughts,” says Sergey, a marketer from Moscow. Alexander from Pskov also arrived without plans for the future: “I took a vacation at my own expense, but it will end soon, and what's next? The family stayed there, they say – do not even think about returning. Already I want to just hide in a corner and turn off all emotions. It’s impossible to plan anything, it’s time to exclude this word from the lexicon.”

Not everyone plans to stay in Uzbekistan

Roman, a photographer from Samara, stayed with his relatives, later he is going to Montenegro: “I have already rented a house for 200 EUR, not far from the sea. Why Montenegro? Still, Europe, Serbia and Italy are nearby. I won’t stay here: Uzbekistan is an authoritarian country, and authoritarianism is unpredictable, you never know how it will turn out.”

But there are those who came seriously and for a long time. Aleksey moved to Tashkent from Khanty-Mansiysk, leaving his family and business at home – a recreation center not far from the city. “I'm doing well, the business works there even without me, and I would like to study the local tourism market. There are a lot of interesting things in Uzbekistan, I think how to develop my business here, I will stay in Tashkent.”

What else to read on the topic

  • The life of emigrants in Kazakhstan: we abruptly changed Moscow to Almaty
  • What do Uzbeks think about Russians? 8 unexpected facts
  • Real Tashkent: pros and cons of living in the capital of Uzbekistan

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