Friday, November 29, 2019

Moscow Sociologist Seeks to Find Russian Intellectuals Who’ve Moved Abroad but then Returned

Paul Goble

            Staunton, November 26 – Sociologist Lyubov Borusyak is survey members of the most recent Russian emigration who have decided to return to Russia.  The number of such people is relatively small compared to the more than two million who have left Russia in recent years, and she has turned to the Internet to try to track some down.

            The Higher School of Economics scholar recently published a comprehensive studies of why young Russian intellectuals are leaving (“Young Intellectuals: Why They are Leaving Russia and Whether They Intend to Return,” in Russian, Vestnik Obshchestvennykh mneniya 1-2 (128) (2019): 147-160  at

            To complete her work, she has turned to the Higher School’s IQ portal to ask that those who have left and then return get in touch with her so that she can complete her study and suggest some of the ways in which Moscow might be able to attract at least some of the massive Putin emigration to come back (

            She says she would like to hear from those who have lived abroad “no less than a year” and who have returned to Russia “no more than ten years ago.” Those who meet these qualifications can email her at She will then send a questionnaire or interview people either personally or via Skype.

            “Over the last century,” Borusyak notes, “there have already been five waves of emigration, each of which has had its own specific characteristics. The first was connected with the 1917 revolution; the second, with World War II. “The third began after the Soviet authorities permitted Soviet Jews, Germans and Pontic Greeks to leave the country to rejoin their families.”

            “The fourth was already quite different and connected more with the economic situation in the country – leaving was not so difficult, and people left the country sometimes in the literal sense simply because they could,” the sociologist says.  The latest – fifth – wave of emigration is different again.  It involves in the first instance “a brain drain” as she documents in her article

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