Almost Half of Russians who have Moved Abroad Since Start of Putin’s War in Ukraine are IT Professionals, New Study Finds
Staunton, July 30 – More than 45 percent of Russians who
have moved abroad since Putin launched his expanded invasion of Ukraine on
February 24 are people connected with the information technology sector,
according to Margarita Zavadskaya, a Helsinki scholar who is part of the OK
Russians project (research-march.okrussians.org/).
In every case, the share of these groups leaving is far
higher than their share in the Russian population and highlights both the fact
that emigration now is an upper middle class phenomenon, Zavadskaya says; and
that it is hitting Russia hard in certain areas while leaving others untouched.
She acknowledges that these figures and others she offers
are not as representative as researchers would like but argues that they are
the best available and suggestive of what the latest outmigration from Russia
is like, how it differs from previous waves, and what impact it will have on
Zavadskaya points out that the median age of the
respondents of this survey was 32, far lower than the median age in Russia
which is 46. Moreover, those leaving were less likely to be married than
Russians as a whole, 39 percent against 51 percent, and also far less likely to
have or want children.
But what is most striking, she says, is the attitudes
migrants have to one another. Unlike most Russians, they show a high degree of
trust and a readiness to cooperate. They are also very political, even those
whose professions are far from politics. And they are conscious of the large
size of their community.
Regarding their future, the Helsinki-based Russian
scholar says, “if one believes the information from the open part of the
investigation, then these people are waiting for regime change. This is not a
specific date” but rather one connected with the departure of Vladimir Putin
But many who have moved abroad doubt that Russia will
change even after Putin leaves the scene. Zavadskaya says that “70 percent of
the respondents in this poll do not believe that the political situation in the
country can change for the better” even then. If they are right, then they are
unlikely to return even after Putin goes.