How to move to London from ukraine
On the pages of BBCRussian.com and on our radio waves there will be materials about those immigrants from Russia and other countries of the former USSR who decided to settle in the British Isles.
You will learn about the Russian language teacher at the aristocratic Eton College, the illegal immigrant in Scotland Edinburgh and the Russian music scene in London.
BBC presenter Seva Novgorodtsev will take part in a video chat with readers of BBCRussian.com, and Russian Service journalists will help with advice on life in the UK.
for BBCRussian.com, London.
But no one knows the exact figures about the number of people from Russia. Obviously, only this figure is much higher than official statistics.
According to the British Ministry of the Interior, in 2005 alone, more than 200,000 visas were issued to Russian citizens, of which 42,000 were obtained by businessmen and 15,000 students-that is, people who have every chance of joining the Russian diaspora in the UK.
Some Russian residents of London have come here illegally, and therefore are not included in the official statistics of the British Ministry of Internal Affairs.
Despite the constantly growing number of immigrants from Russia, the "Russian district" did not appear in London, in analogy with the Hindu, Chinese and Arab neighborhoods.
It can be argued that a very well-off part of Russian migrants chose London's aristocratic districts - such as Chelsea, Hampstead or St. John's Wood. However, the reason is not that they seek to keep in touch with their compatriots, but rather that these areas seem to them more attractive.
Russians do not have concentration centers, they settle where they want, and feel free enough in British conditions. They are very successfully assimilated, overgrown with English ties.
"When I heard that people are assigning appointments to my store," says the director of Kalinka, Boris Hoffman, "I realized that he is becoming a real cultural center."
As part of the emigrants from Russia, you can identify several of the most significant and numerous groups: super-rich entrepreneurs, representatives of medium and small businesses, hired managers, students, low-paid workers, and, finally, Russians who married British citizens.
Political immigrants who have found asylum in the UK can not be separated into a separate community, since their number is insignificant compared to other groups. However, they certainly have a great influence on the official relations between London and Moscow.
In the British mass consciousness, the current wave of Russian migration, above all, is associated with the "oligarchs" who helped to inflate the prices of real estate and luxury goods in London.
Although the phenomenon of Russian oligarchs is written about as something new, most agree that the current situation in the British capital is no different from what was caused by the invasion of wealthy Arabs or Japanese a few decades ago.
The Russian "oligarchs" living in London are a fairly isolated group. It is divided into "clans", as they are commonly called in Russia: the Roman Abramovich clan, the Oleg Deripaska clan, the Yukos clan. Representatives of these groups do not communicate with each other.
Another group - businessmen are more modest, who hope to spin their companies on the British market. They consider London a good springboard for personal or professional ambitions. Some of them are trying to find a Western investment partner or simply improve their image by appearing surrounded by British lawyers, investment consultants and PR experts.
Of course, not everyone succeeds in establishing a business, and some companies are forced to close without even recouping the capital invested in them. It can not be easy to get started. For this, one must be a gambler, able to devote himself entirely to his work, to work most of the day, without days off. To succeed, the entrepreneurs who created the famous brands in London, for several years worked on wear and tear.
The largest group, which, moreover, demonstrates the highest growth rates, can be called "Russian in the City" - it includes young professionals working in British banks and law firms.
The majority of Russians in the City are young people, whom parents sent to study abroad, as soon as it became possible at the beginning of the post-Soviet era. Now they easily find a job in large banks and industrial companies, they have excellent English, diplomas from prestigious universities and all chances to enter the British management class.
Of course, some of the young people who work in the City come from privileged families, so they had good starting positions for their careers. However, very many Russian managers who managed to break through to a sufficiently high level came to conquer the financial capital of Europe from the Russian outback, having nothing to do with their souls.
They graduated from British specialized economic institutions, such as the School of Business or the London School of Economics, underwent training in British corporations, and, finally, in a very tough competition, beat out their position in the City.
Some started their careers in continental Europe, but eventually moved to London, which, unlike other European cities, can be called a real international center.
This is what attracts young managers. "The City is the only financial center in Europe, where your personal success does not depend on the national origin," says Alexei, one of the representatives of "business youth." For example, in my company the leading posts are not occupied by the English. Other top managers - from America, Poland, India - from around the world, we have, perhaps, only secretaries of British origin. "
An important role in the formation of the Russian diaspora is played by a "brain drain". In the European scientific market, Britain is second only to Germany and claims a leading role.
president of the Russian community at LSE.
However, the humanities can easily adapt in the British scientific world, because unlike the continental European school, the British is not closed in Europe and is aimed at studying the global experience, which brings it closer to the old Soviet one.
Perhaps the largest and most influential student organization defending the interests of Russians in British universities is the Russian community at the LSE (London School of Economics). The second most important association of Russian students is, of course, the Oxford community. There are Russian associations in Cambridge, Imperial College and many other British universities.
Most of the students expect to stay in the UK, get a residence permit, find interesting, well-paid work. However, there are those who come here for a couple of years, get experience, education and return to Russia.
Many students, having arrived in Britain, continue to "cook" in the Russian community and do not seek to make friends with the British. This can be explained by nostalgia, or differences that exist between the Russian and British mentality.
However, as it turns out, it is not necessary to look for English patrons. "The ties acquired in the Russian community in London are no less valuable," says Boris Yaryshevsky, president of the Russian community at LSE. "There are many examples where people using these connections opened their own business in Russia or made a dizzying career."
Another group of Russian migrants are representatives of low-paid professions.
Mostly they work in those areas where qualification is least required - construction, hotel business, work in a factory or a farm.
Moreover, a great success for a migrant who tries to settle in London, almost without knowing English, is considered a step in the hierarchy just above the "Labor", that is, a laborer. This could be the work of a carpenter, a construction specialist, a secretary, a store manager or a supervisor at a factory.
In the past two years, the average age of Russian migrants engaged in low-skilled labor has increased noticeably. Young people increasingly find work in their homeland, and look for happiness abroad sent representatives of the older generation.
Most of them do not stay here for a long time, and the wave of Russian migrants of working professions is gradually declining. A striking proof of this is the closure of all Russian-language employment agencies that have worked on the British market in the last few years.
It is curious that the British view that the Russians are still engaged in low-skilled labor is largely explained by the number of migrant workers who came to London from the CIS countries. For example, it is known that citizens of Ukraine were hired in the London area of Chelsea for garbage collection.
There are more and more low-paid workers from the Baltic and Central Asia, whereas in the Russian diaspora the representatives of the working professions are really not so many.
The overwhelming majority of London Russians belong to the middle class.
The author of the article is a candidate of political sciences, a fellow of the British Council, a researcher at the London School of Economics.
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How to move to London from ukraine