Ever more Russians eager to leave country forever

Ever more Russians want to leave their country and move abroad for permanent residence. Moreover, the younger the age group, the greater share of it wishes to leave forever. One-fifth of Russians are potential emigrants, according to sociologists. Thoughts of seeking good fortune elsewhere most often visit young, educated and active people.

However, analysts say, only a small fraction of those who declare such an intention actually take to the road. The others are "internal immigrants," those who are unhappy about what is happening in the country.
According to experts at the Institute of World Economy and International Relations under the Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), over the past three years more than 1.2 million have left Russia, 40% of them - people with higher education. Recent polls conducted by reputable sociological services have confirmed the seriousness of the problem.
The recently published results of a survey by the national public opinion studies center (VTsIOM) showed that every fifth Russian (21%) is ready to leave for permanent residence abroad, whereas in dramatic 1991 there were only 5% of such people.
Most of the 75% of Russians who have no desire to leave are senior citizens (93%) and less educated ones (85%), as well as those who do not use the Internet (87%).
According to the public opinion FOM, such sentiments are shared by 25% of people younger than 35 years and 25% of business people. The VTsIOM opinion poll gives even sadder figures: among youth under 24 years of age about 40% are dreaming about moving elsewhere.
It is not only pursuit of material prosperity that really counts. Of those wishing to emigrate only 27%, according to VTsIOM, assess their financial situation as poor, 20% reported average incomes, and another 17% claim that they live very well.
" Among those willing to go one finds first and foremost highly educated people, those who live in large cities, and have higher education,” VTsIOM General Director Valery Fyodorov told the Vesti FM radio station. “There are those who have an opportunity to compare and therefore they consider the possibility of departure not as a fantastic alternative, but as real one."
The head of the Public Chamber's commission on social and demographic policy, Yelena Nikolayeva, says that the real cause of thoughts of resettling elsewhere are not only economic. Young people are leaving not in search of wealth, they need self-realization, and opportunities for that in Russia are scarce. "In fact, the mobility of professionals around the world is normal. One has to admit, though, that migration there occurs within an individual country. We are not developed in this respect, there is no infrastructure. We can display our potential only in Moscow or St. Petersburg."
The nature of migration over the last few decades has changed dramatically, said the Internet periodical Gazeta.ru. The developed society of mass consumption, once lucrative to post-Soviet emigrants, can no longer be regarded as an attraction: for young and resourceful people consumption opportunities in Russia are not much worse. And those who stay say good-bye to migrants not with the same feelings as before - without much envy, but with understanding - 80% of people today, according to the FOM, do not condemn those leaving their home country.
Analysts stress the fact that according to surveys only a 5% of those expressing the desire to emigrate take some real steps to achieve this goal. This suggests that by declaring the intention to leave, people just express their attitude to the country's current state of affairs, rather than the real intention to leave Russia. Those actually leaving the country are several-fold fewer than the "internal emigrants." Happiness away from home is being looked for both by rich and successful, and by ordinary townsfolk who are tired of corruption and lies.
" This is a cumulative process and an absolutely a political issue. This is a question addressed to the system," says journalist Natalia Gevorkian. "In a closed-type world people could be made stay behind the Iron Curtain. In an open one they cannot be kept by force."
Russia still lacks a system of values ··and rules of life that they could trust, the Western system, despite all of its problems existing there appears to be more attractive and more reliable, Gevorkian said.
This opinion is shared by many bloggers.
" If a country has a very high level of corruption, this means that a lot of people are somehow involved in it,” writes Natta. “And those who are disgusted and who have the opportunity to leave decide to go."
According to Alexei, "happiness away from home was searched in the 1990s. And now this country is being abandoned in view of the prospect of misery ..."
However, there are those who are urging everybody not to idealize life abroad. Viktor, who has lived in London for eleven years, notes that abroad far from all Russian immigrants are doing well. "A majority, even smart and talented ones, have to live on grants and benefits in Europe, or on low-paying jobs in America, without socializing with the locals. In addition, there is a sufficient mass of people who are getting into an immigration dead-end, and often purely a humanitarian one." He argues that there has come "an era of a more critical assessment of everything that is happening to us - both at home and abroad." Going abroad is a good idea for a while, but it is not an absolute solution to problems, says Viktor.
There are quite a few real patriots. Natalia asks "those who love Russia with all their heart to stay."
" You are free to go wherever you want, because these days you can always return, when shattered hopes will make you howl,” writes V****. “That’s cosmopolitanism – to think that Motherland is the place where you feel warmer. Those to whom Motherland is sweet home will stay."

Source : ITAR-TASS, June 2011