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Propiska quota (Russian: лимит прописки, limit propiski) was a notion associated with propiska, the system of residential permits and registration in major cities of the Soviet Union. The persons who fell within the propiska quota were known as limitchiks (лимитчик), from the Russian word "лимит" ("limit") for "quota".
To control growth of a number of major cities in the country the influx of non-native residents was severely limited . These cities were dubbed "regime cities" (режимные города), from the term "special regime of propiska". Still, there existed an imbalance between certain categories of required job positions and the supply of the corresponding workforce. Therefore certain enterprises and services had an access to the system of "propiska quotas" to invite a certain number of workers per year. Major beneficiaries were defense industry, construction workers and street cleaners.
The system of "regime cities" produced an unexpected adverse effect of depletion of skilled engineers and other specialists in provinces. Most prestigious educational centers were in the "regime cities", and students of these institutes tried hard to remain there, knowing that once departed, they could never return to the place with higher living standards.
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