Russian Migrant Journalists in Ukraine After the EuroMaidan: From ‘Middling Transnationals’ to ‘Voluntary Exiles’?
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Numerous Russian media professionals have moved to Ukraine in the last decade. These migrants can be seen as contemporary mobile, highly skilled, transnationally connected professionals who made a lifestyle choice by relocating to Ukraine. However, after the EuroMaidan, their move has also become increasingly political. Drawing upon a series of interviews with Russian media professionals living and working in Ukraine – and addressing their social relationships, professional practices and thoughts on return migration – I analyse the ways in which the lifestyles of these ‘middling transnationals’ can be affected by the political tensions between host and home countries. This paper draws upon the idea of transnational ties being not necessarily durable and supportive but, rather, flexible and multi-directional. I argue that the annexation of Crimea and the armed conflict in Donbas have altered migrants’ cross-border connections with Russia; however, instead of tying them to a place and excluding them from global networks, it might also push them towards inhabiting multiple transnational spaces. These observations highlight the political dimension of ‘middling transnationalism’ which is usually not considered in migration scholarship.
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