EDITORIAL: Три четверти россиян хотели бы покинуть Россию


Три четверти россиян хотели бы покинуть Россию

You read that right:  “Three-quarters of all Russians would like to leave Russia.”

That’s according to a poll commissioned by the Russian version of Monster.com, namely Superjob.ru, as reported by Vedemosti (Russian-language link) the Russian version of the Wall Street Journal.  Another confirming poll by rival firm HeadHunter shows the same figure, three-quarters of all Russians, would prefer to work abroad.

Of course, that’s if they had the chance.

But it’s rather hard to have such an opportunity if you are earning the average Russian wage of $3/hour.  In practice, this means that the vast majority of the Russian population is angry, terrified, frustrated and hopeless — the same characteristics the population had when the country was called the USSR.

Australia is the destination most favored by Russians, followed by Germany, Italy, the United States, Britain and Canada.  Australia is alluring to Russians, according to the nationwide survey, because it is “beautiful, safe, warm, friendly and quiet,” all the qualities their own country lacks in spaces.  Russia is — and nobody who’s been there for even a day can dispute it  — an ugly, dangerous, cold, hostile and noisy place.

In another country, one where people truly loved their land as patriots, the citizens might ask themselves why they aren’t doing more to make Russia itself more “beautiful, safe, warm, friendly and quiet” rather than ignoring the country’s plight and thinking only of flight.  But Vladimir Putin‘s Russia isn’t another country, it’s the same ugly, dangerous, cold, hostile and noisy place it always has been.

So naturally, its citizens run at the first chance, the best and brightest first and foremost. That’s why the USSR slammed down the Iron Curtain, barring Russians from leaving before the whole country could become deserted. How long, we can’t help but wonder, before the Putin dictatorship is forced to adopt the same measures?

5 responses to “EDITORIAL: Три четверти россиян хотели бы покинуть Россию

    • Why do you use the word “lie”? Wouldn’t “mistake” be more appropriate?

      If Russians were to embrace Gallup’s results, they’d have to admit that their invasion of Georgia was absolutely illegal, since the overwhelming majority of Georgians love life under Saakashvili and don’t want to leave (same for Ukraine under Yushchenko).

      On the other hand, see Paul Goble’s article in today’s issue. And read this editorial, which points out that few Russians could reasonably believe they have any chance of affording relocation. And it would be interesting to wonder if there would be any difference between what Russians would tell a foreigner and what they would tell another Russian. Without doubt Gallup’s result, at the peak of Russia’s economic crisis in a country where the average wage is $3/hour and life expectancy isn’t in the top 125 in the world, is dubious.

    • Maybe not a lie per se (as is often the case on this blog — half truth processed by pure idiots), but just a very specific result shown on a site with a very specific audience, it targets people in active search for jobs (i.e. mostly jobless). As such, the result has next-to-zero sociostatistical importance.

  1. Probably the results you get in polls of this sort depend on the phrasing of the questions you put to the people, I imagine that if people were asked in theory if they had enough cash and were given sufficient time to learn a new language etc. would they want to relocate, the majority would probably say yes, but that would be like asking people if they wanted to be rich and healthy instead of being poor and sick, I’m surprised it wasn’t 100%.
    As for iron curtains, these days even countries like Australia and Canada have been introducing new restrictions on immigration making it harder for the average Russian to relocate there if they don’t already have a job lined up for them there. But it’s true that those who can find jobs in Europe, North America or Australia, leave Russia immediately and never look back, after all only an idiot would turn down the opportunity to get paid more and live in a far more developed society. And as for that Paul Goble’s article, imho what he writes is pretty much BS in that it can only apply to a minority of Russians who made their fortunes by breaking the law in Russia and for whom making money illegally is the only way they know how to make money, however for the vast majority of Russians abiding by the law poses no problem at all. It’s just that in Russia some people may find it hard to abide by laws when they see that there’s lots of other people, the rich, law enforcement officers, government officials are above the law. So people figure, why should I follow all these rules if they don’t.

  2. counter opinion:

    “Russians today choose not to leave their country for work abroad because they consider it “abnormal to live according to the letter and spirit of the law” as Western countries require, according to VTsIOM director Valery Fedorov.”


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