It is the holiday season in Kyrgyzstan and thousands of laborers have come from Russia to celebrate with their families. But this year, some are unsure if they will return in spring, the traditional migration season.
Central Asian migrants are grappling with twin concerns: the ruble has collapsed, slashing their earnings; and Moscow has tightened rules for workers from countries outside the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU). But Kyrgyzstani workers are in a unique situation. Kyrgyzstan has signed up to join the EEU in May. Many migrants support accession, believing it will make their lives easier. But until then, they are in limbo.
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Anna Lelik is a Bishkek-based reporter.