Thursday, February 15, 2024

Fewer ‘Compatriots’ Return to Russia in 2023 than in Any Year of Previous Decade

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Feb. 12 – Putin’s expanded invasion of Ukraine has undermined yet another of his policies to promote “the Russian world.” In 2023, the first full year of his full-scale war there, fewer Russian compatriots abroad indicated that they wanted to return or actually did so than at any point in the previous decade

            The Russian interior ministry reported that only 63,600 compatriots said they would like to come back to Russia and only 45,100 actually did so, figures far lower than the year before when the corresponding numbers were 113.100 and 78,500 and lower than any of the previous years as well (

            Three countries – Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and Armenia – accounted for two-thirds of those who actually moved. The country showing the largest decline in the number of compatriots returning to Russia was to no one’s surprise Ukraine. In 2022, 2600 people left that country for Russia as compatriots. In 2023, that number fell to only 240.

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