The Economist: 817,000 to 922,000 Citizens Left Russia Amid War

Since the onset of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, an alarming number of Russian citizens have chosen to leave their homeland.

by Faruk Imamovic
SHARE
The Economist: 817,000 to 922,000 Citizens Left Russia Amid War
© Getty Images News/Samuel Corum

Since the onset of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, an alarming number of Russian citizens have chosen to leave their homeland. Estimates published by The Economist indicate that the number ranges between 817,000 and 922,000. Such staggering figures harken back to significant political upheavals of the past, notably the 1920s.

A Two-Part Migration Triggered by War

The migratory patterns were not consistent throughout the period since the invasion. In the early days of the conflict, as The Economist elucidates, "The first exodus came at the start of the war: up to 300,000 Russians fled the country in the first few months of their president’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine." This phase was an immediate response to the uncertainties and perils that war inevitably brings.

However, a subsequent surge in departures was noted when President Vladimir Putin proclaimed a “partial mobilisation” in September. Young men, in a frantic bid to evade conscription, swarmed border crossings. The scene was reminiscent of many war-torn nations in history where the specter of forced military service loomed large.

Challenges in Ascertaining the Exact Numbers

Acquiring exact data on the extent of this emigration is no easy task.

It is, perhaps unsurprisingly, a topic that the Kremlin has chosen to remain tight-lipped about. Yet, Re: Russia, a renowned analysis and policy network, has filled this informational void. Their research suggests that since February 2022, the number of people departing Russia is between 817,000 and 922,000.

To put this in a historical context, such an exodus, driven by political disturbances, is unparalleled since the upheavals of the 1920s. This reference to the past century not only underscores the magnitude of the current situation but also evokes memories of past tumults and the profound societal impacts they ushered in.

The Economist further touches upon an intriguing facet of this exodus, hinting at the profile of the émigrés and the substantial issues this might engender. As history has repeatedly shown, mass migrations can alter the fabric of both the originating and recipient countries.

The long-term ramifications of this modern-day flight from Russia remain to be seen. However, the immediate narrative is one of war, fear, and a quest for sanctuary.

Russia Ukraine
SHARE