Prejudice toward Asians and migrants during the COVID-19 pandemic in Russia and Kyrgyzstan
As of July 2021, more than 153 million people have been diagnosed with COVID-19 globally. Russia has 5.5 million cases with more than 135,000 deaths; while Kyrgyzstan has nearly 132,000 cases and 2000 deaths. While the virus hit the two nations at different times and with different severities, the two nations, as with so many others, both experienced cases of prejudice toward minority groups blamed for the spread of COVID-19. Using integrated threat theory (ITT), this study cross-culturally examines the link between prejudice toward minorities blamed for the spread of COVID-19 in Russia (Asians) and Kyrgyzstan (migrants) and intergroup contact. Results revealed intergroup contact had a positive effect on realistic and symbolic threat. Additionally, results show Kyrgyz respondents had lower levels of symbolic threat than Russian respondents.