''Many of the newcomers were far from poor'': special resettlement conditions cancelled for immigrants from Ukraine
Tatarstan has decided to terminate the assistance to refugees from the neighbouring country
The Republic of Tatarstan immediately began to actively support the citizens of Ukraine who found themselves in its territory after the beginning of the armed conflict in the neighbouring state in 2014. Internally displaced persons were provided with conditions for living and the possibility to find a job. There were those who took the advantage and those who, on the contrary, preferred to derive maximum benefit from the status of a ''refugee'', not making much effort to organization of life in a new place, which caused criticism of the local population. In early February of this year, the government of Tatarstan adopted the decision on recognition of the previously published document on resettlement of Ukraine citizens as invalid. Realnoe Vremya presents to the readers the history of the assistance and finds out the reason why it could be terminated.
To recognise invalid
The Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Tatarstan has adopted the resolution that declares the document issued in March last year, providing conditions for temporary social and household arrangements for citizens of Ukraine who arrived on the territory of the Russian Federation ''in an emergency mass scale'' and are in temporary accommodation centres in the territory of the Republic of Tatarstan, invalid. Thus, the republic has decided to stop providing support for the arrived people from the neighbouring country.
We could not find out the exact number of Ukrainians arrived in Tatarstan.
''No one can call that figure. Some people do not declare, they live at their relatives', they think it is normal,'' explains the head of the Tatarstan united regional Ukrainian national-cultural autonomy Vladimir Lyubchenko. ''It happens that some people turn to us for help, we help as we can. The consular service is not provided, in Ukraine there is a total chaos. As for the decision, the Cabinet acts on the basis of the real situation. Because many of those who came here were not poor, they just enjoyed the moment. I saw a girl with a dog, the cost of which is higher than my pension. Nevertheless, she begged, saying that ''we are from the Donbass.'' I believe that the locals have quite a difficult life. We should take into account everything related to the economy.''
Lyubchenko reminded about the facts of parasitic attitude on the part of immigrants: for example, the cases when they lived in hotels ''as if disabled'', being completely healthy people. Now there are no any special complaints, the leader of the national-cultural autonomy recognizes, especially that the social organization can only advise you how to behave in a given situation, provide moral support.
According to the analytical service of Realnoe Vremya, in 2014 alone about 60 million rubles were spent on hotels in Kazan and Naberezhnye Chelny for internally displaced persons from Ukraine. In 2015, the placement of refugees cost almost 100 million. In total, from 2014 to 2016, about 165 million rubles were spent on assistance in resettlement of citizens of Ukraine.
Despite significant financial investments, not everyone believes that they were sufficient and that the support of Ukrainians who are now in Tatarstan should be terminated.
''Of course, they still need help, the issue has not been not solved,'' believes Lyudmila Naydenko, the deputy head of the Nizhnekamsk association for study of the history and culture of the Ukrainian people Leleki. ''There are refugees who came here in 2014, who still cannot find a job. Many employers fear to hire them, but they refuse ''in a civilized manner'': ''didn't pass the interview'', ''not appropriate qualification'' though they have excellent diplomas. There are problems with housing, with registration. I don't think the issue will be solved. Some immigrants didn't adapt to live in a new place and left either back or to other regions… Certainly, there are different situations, maybe, we shouldn't have recognized the resolution invalid, maybe, it was worth leaving some individual situations.''
Yevgeny Savenko, the head of Nizhnekamsk national cultural autonomy ''Ukrainian partnership Verbichenka'', reminded that among those who came there were many ethnic Russians or Tatars who are citizens of Ukraine, who said that they do not want to have anything to do with ''that country.'' ''However, refugees rarely come, they generally shun,'' he adds.
Lyudmila Zarutskaya, the head of the Ukrainian diaspora in Zelenodolsk, believes that no one would terminate the support to internally displaced persons for no reason.
''We've got to think logically. I think, at the moment the flow of refugees has come to a halt, therefore, it has been decided to adopt this resolution,'' Zarutskaya commented. ''If new circumstances arise and help is required again, then, I think, it will be rendered. One should specially look for that someone does not like someone.''
How many migrants there are
According to the ministry of internal affairs of the Russian Federation, 1,792,247 citizens of Ukraine were registered as migrants in Russia last year; 1,117,430 people out of them — for the first time. The purpose of entry is often job search, for this purpose in Russia there came 503,287 people. 1,075,853 people were removed from the migration control list. Last year, 96,612 decisions to issue TRP (temporary residence permit — editor's note) were taken for the citizens of Ukraine, 201,631 people with TRP are living in the country. 144,530 citizens of Ukraine live with residence permits.
In total, 278,183 people were registered as migrants in Tatarstan last year, but how many of them are citizens of Ukraine is not specified in the statistics of the ministry of internal affairs. At the same time, 169,863 people applied to this service for the first time. According to the analytical service of Realnoe Vremya, the flow of Ukrainians significantly increased in 2014. In 2012, there came 382 citizens of Ukraine, in 2014 — already 1,149. The next year, Tatarstan officially received 1,291 people. The arrived citizens were provided with one-time financial assistance, as well as state social assistance if needed.