Tajikistan: Brain Drain Rush Causes Annual Riot
Such was the crowd of people in Tajikistan’s capital that turned up this week to apply for permission to move to Russia from the local representative office of the Russian Interior Ministry that police officers had to be summoned.
The scenes of chaos starkly underlined the pervasive sense of hopelessness in Tajikistan’s long-term economic prospects and how ever more people aspire to move abroad.
Eyewitnesses reported that around 2,500 people arrived on January 9 to submit documents on the first day of work this year at the offices of Russia’s National Program for Supporting Voluntary Migration of the Compatriots Residing Abroad. The program is open to people born in the Soviet Union and to ethnic Russians. Applicants with higher qualifications — doctors, engineers and other similarly qualified specialists — are typically given priority.
The scramble occurred on the first day of work at the Russian Interior Ministry branch after the New Year holidays and as the applications are processed on a first come, first served basis, aspirant Russian citizens are desperate to get their names as high up as possible on the waiting lists.
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