A year ago, Russia announced partial mobilization, resulting in an exodus of Russians to other countries.
Renowned political scientist Marat Shibutov briefly summed up the results of this process for Kazakhstan:
«Today marks a year since Vladimir Putin declared a partial mobilization, resulting in monstrous queues of Russian men at the border crossings into Kazakhstan and Georgia, seeking to avoid conscription. Later, they massively settled into our hotels, hostels, and rental apartments. Volunteers fed them, and taxi drivers kept them warm with their money. Some of them went further, while others stayed.
Here, we call them ‘backpackers’ because they inexplicably walk everywhere with backpacks. Integration into Kazakh society happens when they take off their backpacks and get rid of the habit of pointing at people older than them. After that, they are hardly distinguishable from our hipsters. The relocation led to Russians and Kazakhs getting to know each other better – it wasn’t a blessing, but misfortune that brought understanding.»