Saturday, July 8, 2023

Last Year, More than 4,300 People Gave Up Russian Citizenship, Some Because They No Longer Could Put Up with being Identified as Russians

Paul Goble

            Staunton, July 4 – In 2022, 4306 people from the Russian Federation gave up Russian citizenship, a large share of whom almost certainly because of reasons typical for residents of other countries who take such steps such as marriage to a foreigner or longtime residence in another country (

            But some of them did it for political reasons and did so dramatically, burning their Russian passports (, flushing them down toilets ( or tearing them into pieces and throwing them into the trash (

            Beyond such high profile and mediagenic events were the actions of others who simply did not want to continue to be part of the Russian polity because they are appalled about the behavior of the Russian state at home and abroad and especially the failure of others in that country to protest what is going on.

            Yuliya Akhmedova, a journalist for the Cherta Media portal, spoke with three of them: a formerly stateless person from Latvia who acquired Russian citizenship after moving to Moscow but then gave it up, an ethnic Russian from Khakassia who left the country and gave up citizenship because she was appalled by Russian behavior, and a Russian artist who has lived for ten years in the Czech Republic because he rejects what Moscow is doing (

            The details of their personal odysseys vary but three things stand out: they find it difficult to break with their culture even though they give up their citizenship, they are if anything more angry at those in Russia who don’t protest official actions than at the officials who take them, and they are deeply pessimistic that there is any possibility that Russia will change. 


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