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
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
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,
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
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