“Relocated Russians” in Armenian Youth Perceptions

“Relocated Russians” in Armenian Youth Perceptions

Atanesyan A.V.

Dr. Sci. (Pol.), Prof., Head of Applied Sociology Department, Faculty of Sociology, Yerevan State University, Armenia atanesyan@yandex.ru

ID of the Article:

The work was supported by the Yerevan State University within research project “Fake News: Mechanisms of Circulation and Consumption on Social Network Sites” (2022–2024) conducted jointly with K. Adenauer Foundation (Armenia) and Socies expert center.

For citation:

Atanesyan A.V. “Relocated Russians” in Armenian Youth Perceptions. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2023. No 6. P. 112-122


Since February 2022, many citizens of Ukraine, Russia, and Belarus have fled their countries to escape the risks of being involved in intensive military clashes in Ukraine. As a result, tens of thousands of Russians, as well as Ukrainians and Belorussians moved to Armenia, considering it a temporary endpoint and a transit country, preferring Armenia because of its visa-free and easy immigration regulations, flexible banking system, Russian language practiced after native Armenian, as well as possibility to further move to the European neighborhood, Georgia, Turkey, and other destinations. In this study, we tried to reveal the public image of those relocated to Armenia, their integration modes, and possible changes in economic and social life in Armenia caused by Russianspeaking newcomers, as perceived by Armenian youth. We applied focus-group discussions with representatives of the Armenian youth in addition to the participant observations. In October-November 2022, we conducted 24 focus-group discussions with young locals in the capital of Armenia, Yerevan, and the other ten regions proportionally. Speaking about those who moved to Armenia from Russia, Ukraine, and Belorussia, most young Armenians preferred to call them Russians partly because of a stereotypical image of them as ”representatives of one nation“ (this stereotype has been actively disseminated in the Western societies while depicting all Soviets, too), and partly using their own experience of communicating with newcomers, among which Russian citizens make up the statistical majority. The self-name of the relocated as Relocants did not take root among Armenian youth, while identifying newcomers as IT specialists, is quite popular because of young age and their working for international (including IT) companies. The study reveals the main social, economic, cultural, and communicative changes which occurred with the relocated Russians as seen by Armenian youth.

Russians; relocated/Relocants; images; perceptions; adaptation; Armenian youth


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