Human capital is fleeing Russia. Since President Vladimir Putin’s ascent to the presidency, between 1.6 and 2 million Russians – out of a total population of 145 million – have left for Western democracies. This emigration sped up with Putin’s return as president in 2012, followed by a weakening economy and growing repressions. It soon began to look like a politically driven brain drain, causing increasing concern among Russian and international observers. In this pioneering study, the Council’s Eurasia Center offers a comprehensive analysis of the Putin Exodus and its implications for Russia and the West. Based on the findings from focus groups and surveys in four key locations in the United States and Europe, it also examines the cultural and political values and attitudes of the new Russian émigrés.
Sergei Erofeev is currently a lecturer at Rutgers University and the Principal Investigator of the project Tectonic Value Shifts in Post-Soviet Societies (Narxoz University, Almaty). He has been involved in the internationalization of universities in Russia since the early 1990s. Previously, Dr. Erofeev served as a vice president for international affairs at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow, the dean of international programs at the European University at Saint Petersburg, and the director of the Center for Sociology of Culture at Kazan Federal University in Russia. He has also been a Hubert H. Humphrey fellow at the University of Washington. Prior to his career in academia, Dr. Erofeev was a concert pianist, and has worked in the area of the sociology of the arts.
Co-sponsored by Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, Center for Russian and East European and Eurasian Studies and the