This article explores how Kyrgyz labor migrants in Russia view their host country’s government and its influence in Kyrgyzstan, including through the Eurasian Economic Union. Results suggest that migrants have nuanced, pragmatic pro-Russian views. They understand Kyrgyzstan’s dependency on Russia and admire the efficiency of Russia’s government. Yet, they also disapprove of its high levels of corruption and of its disregard for individual rights. Our work contributes to the literature on the diffusion of norms through migration; it also sheds light on Russia’s soft power in Central Asia at a time when rivalry with China is growing in the region.

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