Staunton, Jan. 3 – More than 1500 activists emigrated from Russia over the past year for political reasons, the Free Russia Foundation says; and the total number of those who left, if one counts the family members of these or others who left for other or related reasons, was far greater, an exodus that is costing Russia some of its best people and thus its future.
The single largest group of these were Navalny associates who had an entirely reasonable fear of persecution. Most of the others, including journalists had similar fears or felt they could continue their work only by leaving Russia (sibreal.org/a/bolee-1-5-tysyach-aktivistov-i-zhurnalistov-pokinuli-rossiyu-v-2021-godu/31653988.html and sibreal.org/a/emigratsiya-20-21-kto-i-pochemu-uezzhal-iz-rossii-v-2021-godu/31637009.html).
The Putin regime is likely pleased to see these critics depart, especially as they will now attract less attention and cause fewer problems for the Kremlin; but such a loss of talent is extremely dangerous for Russians as a whole. Not only does it further isolate their country, but it also deprives them of precisely the kind of people needed to build a better future.