Russia’s State Duma, the lower chamber of the Russian parliament, has voiced its support for a bill that expands the criteria to deport “undesirable” migrants.

The bill was introduced by Russia’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and added 20 more articles of the Code of Administrative Offenses to the expulsion criteria, including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Disobedience to a lawful order of a police officer or other law enforcement agency
  • Providing false information when registering for migration purposes
  • Petty hooliganism
  • Propaganda or public display of Nazi paraphernalia or symbols or paraphernalia or symbols of extremist organizations

“We are talking about offenses in the field of public order and public safety, including those with extremist manifestations,” said Vyacheslav Volodin, chairman of Russia’s State Duma, in his Telegram announcement on Tuesday.

It’s also possible that some expulsions do not require a court decision, based on Volodin’s comments.

“A number of articles must ensure prompt (without a court decision) expulsion of persons whose presence in the country is undesirable due to their illegal activity,” he added.


Deteriorating conditions for migrants in Russia

Russia has been a popular destination for labor migrants – particularly those from Muslim-majority former Soviet republics in Central Asia – due to its comparatively developed economy and shared history.

In December 2023, Russian President Vladimir Putin said there were more than 10 million labor migrants in the country

However, the Kremlin’s attitude toward migrants has not been particularly welcoming, with reports of them being tracked down to fill its ranks in Ukraine – some of whom had their military summons served on the spot at their naturalization ceremony.

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Sources told Kyiv Post that various brands of gasoline and diesel fuel with a total volume of 12.5 thousand cubic meters were stored there.

In October 2023, Russian authorities also raided a mosque for war recruits in the town of Kotelniki, which is known for having a high concentration of Central Asian migrants.

Russia’s policies on migrants further deteriorated when four Islamic State (ISIS) gunmen from Centra Asia killed dozens of concertgoers in the Crocus Hall terrorist attack – an incident in March that Moscow sought to pin on Ukraine despite overwhelming evidence suggesting otherwise.


The latest bill to expand the expulsion criteria is one of many steps Moscow has taken to further restrict migrant rights after the attack.

In June, The Moscow Times reported that Russia’s State Duma passed the first reading of a draft law that sought to replace migrants’ passports with an identity document, the validity of which is subject to change without the knowledge of the migrants themselves.

Among the numerous restrictions, the bill also sought to revoke the right to work for migrants with a valid residence permit, instead requiring a separate work permit that is subject to renewal every year. It also introduced numerous restrictions on employing migrants, with severe punishment for minor administrative violations.

The Moscow Times report explained the issue in detail, with the author cautioning that the bill, if approved, would likely exacerbate Russia’s rampant corruption since authorities are “given a carte blanche for extortion” against migrants. 

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