Many analysts have criticized resettlement institutions for placing displaced people in inappropriate and desolate areas. This article seeks to determine the extent to which the Russian Federal Migration Service (FMS) plays an active, systematic role in the placement of dislocated peoples, focusing on refugees (bezhentsii) and forced settlers (pereselentsii) in the Russian Federation arriving from the Republic of Armenia. Using data on regional-level forced migrations flows, we investigate structural- and choice-based models for the prediction of settlement patterns. Findings indicate that variables associated with models of individual choice best predict the resettlement pattern for forced settlers and refugees from the Armenian Republic in the Russian Federation. Our findings question previously held assumptions regarding the meaning of refugee status and the influence of institutions on settlement location patterns.
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