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27 Mai 2022

Azamat Ismailov, Open Democracy

As Western firms flee Russia, many workers’ futures are uncertain


27 May 2022

...International companies supplied the vast majority of the country’s non-food items, and provided around two million jobs...

Their presence was especially noticeable in Russia’s automotive industry, as well as in the production of household appliances, the food, tobacco and pharmaceutical industries, trade and catering. The invasion of Ukraine changed everything.

In the three months since, roughly 1,000 foreign firms have curtailed or sold off at least some, if not all, of their activities in Russia as sanctions hit the country. As a result, between 250,000 and 600,000 people risk losing their jobs. The latter figure is comparable to the total number of people who are officially registered as unemployed in the country...

Many workers in Russian industries closely linked to the world market now face precarity. The number of vacancies in Russia’s auto industry in April fell by 69% compared to last year; in banks, it fell by 60%; and in IT by 11%, according to Russian job site HeadHunter...

At the broader level, though, Russian state media is trumpeting ‘import substitution’ – an opportunity for domestic firms to take up industries suffering from Western sanctions. But if this happens, it will not be implemented evenly, nor immediately...