otorbaev12_ Davit KachkachishviliAnadolu Agency via Getty Images_russians entering georgia Davit Kachkachishvili/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Central Asia’s Bidding War for Russian Emigrants

Many of the 700,000 Russians who have fled Vladimir Putin’s “partial mobilization” have relocated to former Soviet republics like Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, and Georgia. These countries, long dismissed by Russians as reservoirs of cheap labor, now see an opportunity to acquire the skilled knowledge workers their economies badly need.

BISHKEK – Bishkek’s residents have been confronted with an unusual sight these past few weeks: the streets of Kyrgyzstan’s capital teeming with tens of thousands of educated men with European features: Russian citizens fleeing President Vladimir Putin’s “partial mobilization” of 300,000 reservists to fight his war against Ukraine. The Kyrgyz people and government have welcomed them with open arms.