Why is London such a ‘Honeypot’ for Russians?

Olga Kudriavtseva's picture
Why is London such a ‘Honeypot’ for Russians?

It is difficult to say how many Russians live in the UK? Usually the statistics vary from between a quarter to half a million currently here. Whereas only 20-30 years ago, there was just a few thousand living in the UK. In the last century Russians settled in: Germany, Israel and the United States, but not so many went to the UK. However, in less than half a century, everything has changed and the UK and its capital have become one the most popular destinations for Russian immigrants.
I myself, came to London 5 years ago to get a British qualification and I expected then to return home. But I am still here, my diploma is still on my wall and I currently have no plans to leave this country. This makes me think, what motivates our progressive compatriots to stay here?
Perhaps one of the most compelling factors for immigration is an irrepressible desire to achieve ones professional goals. Unfortunately, Russia can not compete with Europe in terms of living standards. Let's face it, in Russia without helpful acquaintances and financial support it is very difficult to make ones way to the top of the career ladder. Of course in London the way for young professionals isn’t strewn with roses either, you needs to fight for your ‘place in the sun’ (sic). However British employers are primarily interested in the personal achievements and professional abilities of their employees, rather than in their family’s financial or social status.
The best examples are the Russian City workers, these young professionals, who don’t have huge start-up capital, are able to achieve career growth provided they show they have the ability to adapt in London; thereby gaining the chance of becoming part of the ‘decent’ British middle class.
Apart from “financial brains”, London also attracts artisans - writers, journalists, musicians, painters, photographers, actors whom form the cultural stream of this city.
In general, professionalism and hard work are the key factors leading to a successful career in London, regardless of profession, social status or place of birth.
Besides the opportunity to make a good career, the British capital attracts Russian people for its rich social and diverse cultural life. No two days are the same! Which is key to understanding why so many Russian’s choose to live here.

P.S. English critic and poet Samuel Johnson said: "When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life”. I agree with this statement, because this city really has everything life can afford.