Saturday, December 22, 2007

Russians returning to the homeland ...not

This rather interesting blog by a Lithuanian resident with a Russian first name describes a scheme funded by the Russian government that encourages Russians living abroad to return 'home'. Something to do with the decline in population, I expect. Much like Germany did in the 80s and 90s, and is now paying the price.

Unlike the rush of Russian 'Germans' to Germany (which has lead to a whole lot of problems, since they won't integrate with anyone - their German is poor, they expect to have everything provided for them, and their attendance in integration clubs consists of sitting together at a table and singing Russian or Volga German songs), the Rush to Russia from Lithuania is not even a trickle.

Of the 219,700 Russians (here in 2000), only 543 returned to Russia since the programme opened this year, but 540 moved from Russia to Lithuania (who and how? They may have been people who were sent to Siberia, or people who married Lithuanians). A net gain of 3 for Russia. A relief for us, because we need our taxi drivers, bus drivers, repair men, postwomen....Does the allegedly corrupt Mr Uspaskich count in this number?

It would be interesting to know how many Lithuanian Russians are out west - a great deal more than are in Russia, I expect. They'd be fools to go and live in Russia where life for the poor is downtrodden and miserable.

According to the same blog, the Lithuanian president said after the Russian election result came out: 'The people of Russia made their choice, God help them'.

The Guardian reported yesterday that there's a suspicion that slim and disciplined Mr Putin may be the richest man in Russia, and thereby Europe. Why would that come as a surprise to anyone?