Daghestanis Leaving Stavropol Just as Russians Are, Local Activist Says
August 8 – One of the constant themes of Russian nationalist discourse is that
North Caucasians with their exploding populations are flooding into traditionally
Russian regions adjoining their homelands.But the reality is very different: In the current economic environment,
Daghestanis are leaving Stavropol almost as fast as Russians are.
that doesn’t mean that their share of the population of the Russian region is
declining, he says, because most of them have far more children and
grandchildren than Russians do; and these offspring, well-integrated into the
local economy, remain behind.But that
is not the same thing as the influx Russians talk about, Abdurashidov says.
told Svetlana Bolotnikova of “Kavkazskaya politika” that the increase in the
share of Daghestanis in the Stavropol region is entirely natural. “A Russian
grandmother is glad to have three to six grandchildren, while her Daghestani
counterpart has ten to twelve, “and sometimes manymore. One he knows has 44 grandchildren.
the notion that Daghestanis are flooding the region is “a myth created by
Governor Valery Gayevsky and pseudo-scholars who seek political points for
their publications. The overwhelming majority of Daghestanis in Stavropol” have
been there for several generations. Most are integrated but those without jobs
are leaving for Moscow rather than their homeland.
most of whom are involved in agriculture, came to Stavropol beginning in the
1960s because there was more land available there. But conflicts over land have
intensified in the Russian region in recent years as urban industry has failed
and more Russians are remaining on the land. Now, the situation with regard to
land in Stavropol kray is “explosive.”
the Daghestanis of Stavropol are losing one of their most important links to
their homeland: they are no longer sending their children home in the summer to
learn their native languages, Abdurashidov says, because now, even most of the elderly
in their villages speak Russian. As a result, ethnic identities are gradually
giving way to religious ones.