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Migrants in Russia Targeted During Economic Crisis

VOA reports on the worsening security situation for migrant workers in Russia with the pressures of the global economic crisis.

But even before the global crisis hit, an opinion poll by the Russian Public Research Center, last June, found more than half of those surveyed said Russia should limit the number of unqualified foreign workers.

The SOVA human rights organization and others report about 300 violent attacks against migrants, last year. Nearly one-third were fatal, including the December decapitation of a young Tajik national in Moscow.

SOVA Deputy Director Galina Kozhevnikova says many Russians accept what she says are myths that migrants take away increasingly precious jobs and drive down wages.

Kozhevnikova says, as a rule, Russians find out the salary andsimply decline to take a low-paying job. She says the Muscovite doesnot take a job for less than $300 a month, because it is difficult tosurvive in the city for that kind of money.

However, migrants have survived on it and many send remittances tofamilies back home. But, Safarbek Khazradkulov is having a tough timeon no salary at all. He hopes to get finally paid for his work so hecan at least return to Tajikistan.