Xenophobia moods grow in Ukraine


“Independent newspaper”

Ukraine is going to make tougher migration legislation.

Vise-premier, Minister of Social Policy Segey Tigibko announced about the necessity to raise administrative responsibility of enterprises applying for work illegal migrants. Experts mark that only economic measures of influence for the part of the state complicate another problem: growth of xenophobia in the society.

Ukraine is a single country in Europe, which does not have state concept on counteraction of migration and it has not created even special state body engaged in this problem. Now MOI is responsible for it. Police detains 3-5 thousand illegal migrants every year. The migrants pay administrative fines.

After that more often they get a certificate on applied request concerning political asylum which protects illegal migrant from deportation and at the same time permits him/her to move freely along the territory of Ukraine some months. Often the traces of detainees are lost.

Meanwhile, according to data of UNO, the flow of illegal migrants to Ukraine for the last ten years increased in 20 times. Before, the country was considered as temporary shelter before the jump to EU or Russia, so during the last years many people arriving settle in Ukraine. UNO regards that about seven million illegal migrants live now in the country.

The problem became more complicated during the presidency of V.Yuschenko who agreed to sign Agreement on readmission between Ukraine and EU. In accordance with the document Ukrainian side has been obliged since the beginning of the last year to accept back all citizens who got to Europe illegally from Ukrainian territory.

Nowadays, situation is frozen: official Kyiv managed to persuade EU to set aside the process of massive readmission till the year 2012 when in the country Migration Service will be created as it has been planned before. The human rights activists hope that from that very moment it will be possible to put things in order at least in statistics. As State Committee of Nationalities and Religions fixes only the number of foreign citizens visiting the country in the course of the year. Last year this number exceeded 21 million people. Experts suppose that with oncoming of Euro-2012 the number of entering persons will increase. How many of them would like to return back home, and someone will probably lost – no one knows.

Last year Supreme Council, elaborating some bills toughening the legislation in this sphere, declared about Ukraine has impetuously turned to a grey zone of illegal migration in formed conditions. One of the bills was adopted in the beginning of the current year, however President Viktor Yanukovych did not signed it sending it for improvement. The deputy Y.Karamzin explains that problem becomes more complicated within every year, because association micro districts appear Ukraine as in Russian Federation before the overwhelming majority of which is engaged not just illegal and in criminal business as well.

Vise-premier minister Tygypko confirmed that the country is expected great problems in prospect. He regards that in solving a problem the experience of Slovakia should be learnt that elaborated the plan on fight against shade salaries and illegal employment. Deputy Karamzin has agreed before that problem has economic roots: illegal migrants increase the level of unemployment using all social welfare and do not pay taxes. He marked that this very fact causes hostility in the society, and, thus, the problem should be considered broader – the government should elaborate integral policy as to migration processes.

Until there is no special programme, the level of intolerable treatment to comers grows in the society. The expert of Kharkiv Institute of Social Investigations Denis Kobzin has recently reported that the groups of skinheads appeared in Ukraine a country being glorified by tolerance. Statistics of police testifies that opposition has been strengthened: 16 cases of foreigners being attacked were registered in the year 2006, in 2007 – 88 aggrieved persons, in a year there were 85 persons more, the year before this number comprised about 40. However, these indexes are rather conditional, as often the cases of xenophobia are classified like incident fights, there is no separate statistics. No sociological questionings give evidences about troubled tendencies: according to data of Gorshenin’s Institute more than 60% of Ukrainians suppose that there is a real danger of appearance of international conflicts in the country. Other questionings testify that from 200 to 400 thousand Ukrainians are not just afraid of conflicts or share positions of the skinheads, but are ready personally to fight against illegal migration joining the ranks of so unknown associations and organizations.

Fears are confirmed by informational chronicle: there were organized arsons at some markets last year in Kyiv where namely migrants from China and Vietnam trade. The community of Romas reported about attack on the camp in the neighborhood of Ukrainian capital. In summer Crimean Djankoi became hardly a hot point of Ukraine as a result of murder of five-year-old boy. Crimean Tatar was accused of this crime. Local authority and governing body of Medjylis of Crimean-Tatar people managed with difficulty to calm down local people proving that nationality in this case did not have any meaning.

On January 1, 2011 Ukrainian Mass Media informed about anxious reports from Nikopol where massive fight took place finishing by the death of two persons and grew up into opposition of Slavic part of the town with migrants from Caucasus. The authorities managed to put out and this fire, however where it will break up again next time – no one knows.

In the west of Ukraine a protest grows against region’s transformation into a settling for illegal migrants. Two years ago, the residents of the town of Mukachevo achieved liquidation of the camp for illegal migrants. This year the residents of border town Chop came for the actions demanding the authority to refuse from the idea on building a new centre for temporary keeping of illegal migrants. Ukrainians more often perceive newcomers not as competitors or spongers but as potential threat.

A new movement against illegal migration has appeared in the country. Its leader is Yaroslav Dunaev telling in details in one of the interviews about what illegal associations are engaged in which kind of criminal business. He supposes the situation to be one of the main threats for national security of the government and proposes to authority in migration policy to refuse from immediate task on protection of national minority, and to put interests of its citizens on the first place. “Considered policy is needed which should at first define whom we really need?…”