Are People Still Leaving Russia? — How Hundreds of Thousands of Russians Are Leaving the Homeland

Jakub Ferencik
6 min readDec 29, 2023

Hundreds of thousands have left Russia since Vladimir Putin launched his full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Many seemingly did so in protest of the regime; others, perhaps the majority, did so to escape the rising cost of living crisis and inflation; others could not stand to support the regime’s war.

But it’s been nearly two years of Putin’s full-scale war with Ukraine. The brain drain we have seen in the country could have dire consequences. Is it detrimental to Putin? Well, probably not in the short-term. In the long-term, we could see some significant negative effects.

Of course, Putin is getting older and will probably not be able to experience the true ramifications of this brain drain.

Let me explain.

Photo by Mantas Hesthaven on Unsplash

In 2022, one of the largest waves of emigration from Russia was when after the partial mobilization in the fall of 2022. There were other waves of emigration in 2022, but they were not as significant so I won’t focus on them here.

It should be said that it’s difficult to estimate precisely how many people left the country, however. That’s because some have returned. Others have returned and subsequently left.



Jakub Ferencik

Author of “Up in the Air,” “Beyond Reason,” & "Surprised by Uncertainty" on AMAZON | MA McGill Uni | 750+ articles with 1+ mil. views