Central Asian Entrepreneurs in Russia Shutting Down Hospitality Businesses Due to Xenophobia, Police Inspections

As previously reported by TCA, cafes and restaurants in Russia run by business owners from Central Asia have begun to close en masse. Following the terrorist attack on Crocus City Hall near Moscow on March 22, for which several Tajik nationals have been detained and charged as the perpetrators, preexisting anti-migrant sentiment in Russia has intensified. Since that time, 75% of cafes and restaurants run by Central Asian migrants in Moscow alone have shut, with their owners citing xenophobia and harassment by the police.

According to the Current Time news portal, police have sharply stepped up checks on newcomers, mostly Central Asians, over the past month. Raids against migrants are going on all over the country. Many migrants have already left Russia because of this – or refused to visit public places, including cafes.

Café and restaurant owners have therefore suffered losses, and many have been forced to cease operations altogether. Police inspections of cafes and restaurants frequented by migrants have also increased – which is also not good for business.

Migrants from other countries who work in the hospitality industry in Russia have also stated that increased xenophobia and raids after the terrorist attack have hit the restaurant business particularly hard. Those pressures – coupled with painfully high Russian inflation for food, goods, labor, and more  – have made operations in the hospitality sector unprofitable for many whose livelihoods depend on it.


Times of Central Asia