Powerful Atlantic Council Twitter Thread on Russians Fleeing Putler

So far as Western media tropes on Russia go, this one is in the almost entirely false category. See my most recent comprehensive debunking here: The Nth Wave of Russian Emigration.

The “increase” in question almost exclusively accrued to greater numbers of Central Asians leaving Russia after the 2014 devaluation made working in Russia as Gastarbeiters relatively less attractive.

As for raaw numbers… 1.6-2 million constitutes 1.1-1.3% of the Russian population over 20 years.

In absolute numbers, it is comparable to the number of Ukrainian citizens (1.7 million) who have applied for Russian citizenship since 2014. The Ukraine has four times fewer people than Russia.

In relative numbers, it is about an order of magnitude less than what countries such as Poland, Romania, and the Baltics. It would be necessary to note that this is mainly a function of their labor markets have become integrated with that of the EU, which has also had some beneficial effects such as putting upwards pressure on wages within their own countries. It is likely that many more millions of Russians would have left as well had it pursued EU integration. An analogously propagandistic Russian think-tank would have left this out.

Annual emigration runs at around 300,000 in the UK. The Brits, with a population less than half that of Russia, have sent out a similar number within just 2006-15. An analogously propagandistic Russian think-tank may have attributed this to an British SJW regime that arrests people for “deadnaming” on Twitter.

So, basically, not ethnic Russians, or so deracinated as makes no difference.

If the vast majority of them do not plan to return even if Navalny came to power and personally led an LGBT parade down Red Square, this rather begs the question of why Russia needs to heed the opinions of this narrow circle of 400 emigres from NY, SF, London, and Berlin.


Anatoly Karlin is a transhumanist interested in psychometrics, life extension, UBI, crypto/network states, X risks, and ushering in the Biosingularity.


Inventor of Idiot’s Limbo, the Katechon Hypothesis, and Elite Human Capital.


Apart from writing booksreviewstravel writing, and sundry blogging, I Tweet at @powerfultakes and run a Substack newsletter.


  1. Anonymous lurker says

    From that thread:
    “This wave of Russian emigrants is very highly educated: 47% hold a bachelor’s degree and 43% percent hold a master’s degree or PhD.”

    …notwithstanding that “wave” is a gross exaggeration, but aren’t the quotes percentages actually lower than Russian averages?

  2. No, that’s accurate, and it would be strange if it wasn’t.

    Percentage of Russians with higher education as of the 2010 Census: 22%; 41% in Moscow. (This doesn’t count vocational education).
    (Comparable to the 21% of Americans with a BA).

    Percentage of Russians with post-grad education: 0.6%; 1.1% in Moscow.
    (About 2% of Americans have a PhD).

  3. The Alarmist says

    I’m a highly educated emigrant from the US, and nobody gives a rat’s behind what I think of the current stupidity back there, but they do covet my banking info and an extra bite at taxing my foreign income. Vlad should be so demanding of his émigrés.

  4. Anonymous lurker says

    Gotcha, I must have been mixing things up. I just recalled having glanced through things like this:

    “53.1% tertiary”… I thought that meant what I would consider “tertiary” (BA and onwards)…

    But upon a closer look, included in that is “vocational” education (“short-cycle tertiary”), making up about half. So, I understand now. Still, 26.4% “master’s or equivalent”.

  5. Ukrainian citizens (1.7 million) who have applied for Russian citizenship since 2014.

    How wise is this exactly? The Ukrainians have shown themselves to be total SJWs/cuckservatives/neoliberals (pretty much all the same thing these days), having this many enter Russia seems like a bad idea to me.

  6. Russia is experiencing a brain drain

    Keep on plugging, AK.

  7. No numbers or statistics to provide, but I’m working on a marketing project using LinkdIn and it sure looks that a lot of members have Russian sounding names, all in senior management and in upper technical roles. I’m sure that a certain percentage are Ukrainians too (they’re the ‘younger’ ones). 🙂

  8. LinkedIn is based in based in Sunnyvale, California – of course there will be a lot of Russian names.

    Many if not a majority of them will be Jews, and the vast majority of them will have come to the US before the Putin era got going.

    As for any more recent arrivals, it is likely that a very solid majority of them will indeed be Ukrainians, Belorussians, or Moldovans. In a QA company that I was familiar with during my time in California, which sourced H1B’s from the ex-USSR, that vast majority of them hailed from those three countries – not Russia.

  9. I wish that other European countries had different words corresponding to the русский/российский distinction

  10. When is a Ukrainian or a Belorussian not a Russian?

    When they are Jewish and/or emigrate.

  11. LinkdIn may be based in Sunnyvale California, however, its services encompass all of the US, if not Canada and even further out. The data that I’ve been using encompasses all of the Phoenix. AZ area. It’s a really large database, probably on a par or close to Facebook.

  12. There is a problem in the text, because nobody knows what is the number of emigration.

    When you leave, there is no-one you inform that you have emigrated, so it is not data the government is aware of, or there is real official data about.

    When the next census happens, they will have a better idea.

    However, anecdotally, we know the numbers of emigration are not very massive, as there are not encountered large numbers of Russians everywhere in the West. There are Russians in a lot of places, but usually in small numbers. However, although the numbers are not that large – it is a brain, youth and money drain, as emigration is containing more educated, young and/or rich people on average.

  13. That is all correct.

    However, the census conducted in 2010 showed the Russian population to be one million larger than estimated. So it appears that Russian emigration/brain drain is a marginal problem regardless.

  14. LOL.

    But actually, at least judging by U.C. Berkeley, the Russian Club was the only club in town so far as all the ex-USSR countries went.

    (With the sole exception, I think, of Armenia, which have their own specific and long-standing diaspora).

  15. Up here in Seattle it is more Russians than Ukrainians or Russian language speakers. My wife is Russian so she can tell immediately where everyone is from.

    The smelly, ugly Indians have a lock on the H1B anyhow. The rest of the world gets the scraps. Even China, with its vastly more intelligent population, manages only a fraction of what India funnels through visa programs.


    Russia sends a measly 1k people a year through the H1B program, compared to India’s 250k.

    You’ll note from that data that H1B applicants are getting LESS diverse. The number of applicants from Canada, Korea, Phillippines, Russia, and other countries is all tanking. China is increasing, but Indians are grabbing more and more of the spots.

  16. Hey Anatoly,

    Can you do a post on the Russian housing market?

    We saw that the government is introducing new programs to give lower mortgage rates to families with children. In general, they are trying to drive down the cost of mortgage financing in order to stimulate revitalization of the housing stock in Russia. (Decaying apartments, etc).

    As someone who is planning to move there in a few years, I would be super interested in getting an update on this sort of thing.

  17. The ruminations by the Atlantic Council remind me of the Aesop’s tale about sour grapes. Russia hasn’t collapsed, it is there, it still has the stuff. So the predictable: ‘they are dying out‘, ‘they are all leaving‘, ‘the economy might collapse‘ sour grape narratives are endlessly recycled.

    They never come up with anything new, it is always the same lazy sky-is-falling prophecy. What it shows (unfortunately) is a deep strain of emotional hatred and that is very unhealthy. Germans are dying out, Japan’s average age is approaching retirement age, Ukrainians are disappearing via emigration, English are 1-2 generations from being overrun by South Asians – none of that ever gets pointed out because Atlantic Council types don’t hate them.

    No country can negotiate with people who hate them, it just doesn’t work, any ‘deal’ is seen as a way to the eventual victory. This is getting quite ugly. Who let the bitter emigres like Boot, Joffe, etc…take over the US foreign policy?

  18. Thorfinnsson says

    India is poorer than all of these countries (even the Philippines), and the living conditions in India are appalling. About 30% of Chinese are under age 25, whereas in India around 45% are. Indians also practice ethnic networking within corporations. Not surprising they’re grabbing the visas.

    There’s also the matter that promoting emigration of skilled workers is a policy priority of Indian diplomacy (e.g. India has sued the USA in the WTO over this matter), stemming from some bizarre form of ethnocentrism gone haywire.

  19. Why is ‘s’ doubled in those two Russian words?

  20. Are you certain they don’t hate Germans?
    That would be a relief of sorts, but I’m afraid that would – if it were true – only mean they’re done with us.

  21. They may hate Germans, or rather German national consciousness, but they certainly don’t hate the German state.

  22. Germans have been deferential for so long that most likely emotion among Atlanticists is contempt. A generation ago there was the old-style hatred of Germans in the anglo world – East Germany acted as a nice focus – but today? What is there to hate?

  23. The Ukrainians that are SJWs are not going to Russia, they are cleaning toilets in Germany or Poland.
    The russophone Ukrainian, particularly if they have relatives in Russia are the ones seeking refuge from Porochokos press gangs who are forcing the young men into the Ukrainian army to terrorise their compatriots

  24. When my friend went to a Russian MIT event she complained there weren’t any Russians, they were all Jews.

  25. The Indian government is pushing for liberalised immigration from India as part of their trade negotiations with the EU. It has been Britain blocking this so watch out when and if we leave.