By Paul Goble
One measure of the impact Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine and his mobilization of men to fight there has had offered by Andrey Zubov who says that the number of Russians who have left because of Putin’s actions now is greater than the number who left after the Bolshevik revolution.
And that means, the Russian scholar at Massaryk University in the Czech Republic says, that the actual impact of the new emigration is even greater still because the total population of the country under Moscow’s control is lower (russian.eurasianet.org/чем-грозит-россии-утечка-мозгов-и-смогут-ли-власти-побудить-людей-вернуться).
Moreover, Zubov continues, “the present wave is radically different from the economic emigration of the 1990s.” It is a vote against the policies of the regime because those who are leaving are among those doing well in Russia: they are leaving because the situation has become “morally unbearable.” In that, those leaving now resemble those leaving after 1917.
“If the regime collapses and a democratic state is restored in Russia,” he suggests, “then the overwhelming majority [of the current emigration] will return because they left their life and love in their country. If the regime, while changing form remains authoritarian, then Russia will lose an enormous stratum” forever.
What is happening to Russia once again, this time as a result of Putin’s policies, is like the fate of a man who keeps cutting his arms and bleeding. Such a country, he says, is condemning itself to death, if we don’t stop the bleeding” by changing the regime, Zubov concludes.