Istanbul emerges as most affordable city for Russian migrants

Türkiye’s largest metropolis Istanbul has emerged as one of the most afforable and preferred cities by Russians who left their country following the onset of the Ukraine war in February last year, a Russian daily has reported.

According to Komsomolskaya Pravda, while statistics regarding the number of individuals who have departed Russia since the war that began on Feb. 24, 2022, remain unclear, most of those leaving the country opted to settle in neighboring nations and the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS),where the relocation process for Russians is comparatively smoother.

The cities where Russians have predominantly settled include Istanbul, Serbia’s Belgrade, Armenia’s Yerevan, Georgia’s Tbilisi and Kazakhstan’s Almaty.

Despite the initial advantage of living costs in these cities being lower than those in Russia, particularly Moscow, prices have surged rapidly in the wake of the substantial influx of Russian immigrants. In many of these cities, the cost of living has escalated to the point where Russians now find themselves spending more than they would in Moscow.

In its investigation, the newspaper factored in essential needs such as renting a one-bedroom apartment, enjoying a cup of coffee at a cafe, going to the movies, weekly grocery shopping at a supermarket, taking a taxi, having lunch at a restaurant, gym membership, high-speed internet and mobile phone subscriptions when calculating the monthly cost of living for each city.

In the cities with the highest Russian immigration, the average monthly cost of living stands at $1,395 in Yerevan, $1,142 in Tbilisi, $1,124 in Belgrade, $961 in Almaty, $945 in Moscow and $873 in Istanbul.

The rental cost for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center of Istanbul was estimated at $674. Furthermore, Istanbul stands out as one of the most budget-friendly cities in terms of lunch and dinner, taxi fares, internet connectivity, coffee and cinema ticket prices as well.


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