Azebaijanis in Russian Bazaars
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When you say Bazaar in Russia, the first thing that comes mind is “Azerbaijanis.” Unfortunately, Russians link the Azerbaijani nation with the Bazaar. Locals divide immigrants from the Post Soviet countries depending upon their nationalities. Thus, Uzbeks and Moldavians are constructers, Georgians are mafia heads, Armenians are jewelers and coblers; and Azerbaijanis – are sellers. But each of these are just stereotypes created by locals.



The free market and multitude of fruits from Azerbaijan have enabled Azerbaijanis to earn money especially after the collapse of the Soviet Union, when financial crisis struck. However, it does not mean that there are fewer successful Uzbeks or Azerbaijanis in Russia. Numerous people from the South Caucasus left their countries in order to find jobs in Moscow, or in other cities of Russia. 

However, in the case of an Azerbaijani man named Orkhan Zeynalov, who killed a Russian man on the streets of Moscow, retaliation against immigrants has increased, including persecution on ethnic grounds, as well as massive checks on passports and the availability of the right to work given by immigration officials and law enforcement agencies. Hundreds of migrants, feeling their futures endangered, decided to return to their homeland. According to various sources, there is one to two million Azerbaijanis who live in Russia.




Shahin has been working in Moscow since 1996. He has a family and two children. He wishes his children will never have to meet the any difficulties and obstacles that he has faced during his life. For this reason, he is doing everything to eliminate it and to give his children a proper education and sustainable life.

Azerbaijani merchants working in this bazar say that before the mass deportations, most sellers were Azerbaijani. Those who were not deported are now working without vacations for fear of loosing their jobs, and being able to send money to their families. This photo from the bazar is located near the Moscow metro station is the “Preobrajenskaya Ploshad.''

Mahir has been in Moscow since 1992 and is still working in the bazar. He is married and has two children. Mahir says that one day, with the help of God, they will return to Azerbaijan and earn money there. He hates to be tired and to be living separate from his family. “The problem is not the job I am doing, but the long distance between me and my family.”

Sara is working here for 16 years. Despite previous years, every following year, she promises herself that she will return back to her motherland and work there. But still she is here.

Gulnara has been here for 10 years and is living with the hope of returning to her home town of Mingachevir, one day.

There was a bazar near the metro station of “Vixina” in Moscow, which was later on destroyed. Still, it operates as a bazar, because in other places the rent is very expensive, as so many migrants are working here.

This Bazar is located near the metro “Kievski.” Azerbaijanis are predominantly working here. One of the workers says that despite that, there is a lot of work, and he doesn’t feel how the time is passing, because he is surrounded by so many Azerbaijanis.

This young Azerbaijani man says that previously there were a lot of Azerbaijanis here, but later many were deported, and many others left Moscow because of the high inflation and returned to Azerbaijan.

The “Tyoplistan” metro station located near the bazar.

The “Tyoplistan” metro station located near the bazar.

Chai Khana
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