Human capital is fleeing Russia. Since President Vladimir Putin’s ascent to the presidency, between 1.6 and 2 million Russians – out of a total population of 145 million – have left for Western democracies. This emigration sped up with Putin’s return as president in 2012, followed by a weakening economy and growing repressions. It soon began to look like a politically driven brain drain, causing increasing concern among Russian and international observers.

In this pioneering study, the Council’s Eurasia Center offers a comprehensive analysis of the Putin Exodus and its implications for Russia and the West. The study, which is authored by Ambassador John Herbst and Dr. Sergei Erofeev, examines the patterns and drivers of Russian emigration to the West since 2000 based on the findings from focused interviews and surveys with new Russian émigrés in four key cities in the United States and Europe.

The discussion is joined by: Dr. Yevgenia Albats, editor-in-chief and CEO, The New Times; Dr. Sergei Erofeev, lecturer, Rutgers University; Ms. Elizaveta Osetinskaya, fellow, Investigative Reporting Program, University of California – Berkeley; founder, The Bell; and  Moderated by: Ambassador John Herbst, director, Eurasia Center, Atlantic Council

New Atlanticist

Feb 21, 2019

More and more Russians are fleeing oppression in Russia

By David A. Wemer

A new Atlantic Council report shows the changing motivations of those who are leaving Russia.

Migration Russia

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