When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Stranger in Moscow
Stranger in Moscow
Grigory Tumanov and Elena Chernenko*

MOSCOW — Russia is increasingly deporting U.S. citizens on its soil in recent years. Americans living in Russia have also seen a sharp spike in the number of residence permits that have been revoked since the start of this year, signaling a deterioration in relations between the two former Cold War foes.

Russian authorities say they're enforcing immigration laws and urge U.S. citizens not to "demonize Russia." But a look at the numbers demonstrates otherwise.

Russian authorities sent back just one U.S. citizen in 2012. That number gradually grew since then to 57 Americans last year. In the first half of this year, they expelled 18 Americans.

The data on residency permits reveals a more complex picture. Although the number of revoked permits was 19 in 2012, that number plunged to 8 last year. But just the first half of this year saw the number jump up to 25.

The interior ministry says that these Americans had violated the conditions of their stay by remaining in the country for more than six months beyond their permit's expiry date or by infringing labor laws. But U.S. diplomats, Russian human rights activists and many political analysts view the data as a sign of worsening relations between the two countries.

[rebelmouse-image 27090379 alt="""" original_size="500x333" expand=1]

More transparency needed in Moscow? — Photo: Zabara Alexander

One deportee, Jennifer Gaspar, was separated from her husband and daughter in 2014, after legally residing in Saint Petersburg for a decade. Russian migration officials annulled Gaspar's residency, calling her a threat to national security on the basis of a certificate issued by the Federal Security Services, which described her as favoring "forcible change of the constitutional order."

Gaspar says that she is being expelled from Russia because her husband, Ivan Pavlov, is a human rights attorney. Pavlov heads "Team 29," a group of journalists and young lawyers advocating for government transparency.

Dr. Mikhail Troitskiy, an assistant professor at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, is among those who say politics is definitely to blame for the crackdown on U.S. citizens.

Pavel Chikov, a human rights activist, echoes the belief.

"The United States and Russia have a complex relationship that has been around for a long time, so the trends in migration are difficult to analyze," he says. "But they are there nonetheless."

Keep reading... Show less
You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Stories from the best international journalists.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
Already a subscriber? Log in

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
Geopolitics

AMLO Power Grab: Mexico's Electoral Reform Would Make Machiavelli Proud

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, aka AMLO, says his plans to reform the electoral system are a way to save taxpayer money. A closer look tells a different story.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador of Mexico votes

Luis Rubio

OpEd-

MEXICO CITY — For supporters of Mexico's President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) the goal is clear: to keep power beyond the 2024 general election, at any price. Finally, the engineers of the much-touted Fourth Transformation, ALMO's 2018 campaign promise to do away with the privileged abuses that have plagued Mexican politics for decades, are showing their colors.

Current electoral laws date back to the 1990s, when unending electoral disputes were a constant of every voting round and impeded effective governance in numerous states and districts. The National Electoral Institute (INE) and its predecessor, the IFE, were created to solve once and for all those endemic disputes.

Their promoters hoped Mexico could expect a more honest future, with the electoral question resolved. The 2006 presidential elections, which included AMLO as a recalcitrant loser, showed this was hoping for too much. That election is also, remotely, at the source of the president's new electoral initiative.

Keep reading... Show less

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Stories from the best international journalists.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
Already a subscriber? Log in
THE LATEST
FOCUS
TRENDING TOPICS

Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

Watch Video Show less
MOST READ