The aim of this paper is to look at the coping strategies of Osh Uzbek migrants in the aftermath of conflict, and to pursue a set of related questions: Why did Osh Uzbek refugees choose Russia, but not Uzbekistan? What are the experiences of Osh Uzbeks in Russia? How do they perceive their homeland in the aftermath of conflict? I discuss the situation in the aftermath of the Osh conflict of 2010, in which the Kyrgyz government consciously created uncertainty for Uzbeks (a minority ethnic group), thereby forcing them to leave for Russia as ‘post-conflict’ migrants. I compare and contrast these post-conflict migrants’ experiences with voluntary migrants’ experiences in order to reveal distinct characteristics of the respective strategies. I conclude by stating that the Osh Uzbeks who have fled to Russia contribute to the creation of an Uzbek diaspora in Russia, e.g. by applying for Russian citizenship, establishing and expanding social networks, and imagining their future in their homeland.
Osh Uzbeks, conflict, migration, coping strategy, mobility