As part of the Ideas for Russia research program, a preliminary report has been published on the so-called "new diasporas" that emerged as a result of the mass exodus of Russian citizens from their country after the start of the war. It is compiled on the basis of interviews with people who went to countries outside the EU - Turkey, Serbia, Kazakhstan, Israel and Armenia. The Ideas for Russia program is run by the Boris Nemtsov Foundation, the Faculty of Social Sciences of Charles University and the Prague Institute of International Relations.
The study yielded several key findings:
- First of all, it became clear that the ideas of professional unity and common destiny unite such relocators much more than national identity. So, for example, representatives of the “Russian programmers in Armenia” group will tend to move around in an environment similar to themselves.
- Such relocants consider as strangers not the local population of those countries to which they moved, but those who remained in Russia or arrived earlier than other Russians. As a result, they are more open to integration into a society that is new to them.
- Relocators tend to create "closed" businesses for their own, because they are not thinking about making a profit, but about adapting to the current situation. Communities are emerging around such businesses that help an ever-wider range of those who have left to adapt.
- In different countries, different strategies for adaptation in terms of the degree of mobility prevail. Thus, people who work online for a company from a third country often go to Armenia. In Kazakhstan, on the contrary, people with limited mobility settle down, whose remote work is tied to Russia. And in Israel, relocators leave high-skilled jobs for low-skilled ones.
- For many relocators, the above five countries act as a transit base before onward migration to the countries of the European Union and the United States. However, such a step is considered difficult and requires training, including professional and language skills. Many of them even try to evaluate themselves as "worthy" or "unworthy" of it.
The first major wave of emigration from Russia was noted after the start of the war, on February 24, 2022. The second, more massive, began after the announcement of mobilization by Vladimir Putin. At the same time, at SPIEF 2023, Russian presidential aide Maxim Oreshkin assured that half of the citizens who left in the fall of 2022 had already returned to Russia.