Hundreds of thousands of highly skilled workers left Russia after the invasion of Ukraine

Hundreds of thousands of professionals, many of them young, have left Russia since it invaded Ukraine, accelerating the exodus of business talent and further threatening the Western sanctions economy, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing recent studies.

Those leaving the country include technicians, scientists, bankers, and doctors, according to studies, economists, and immigrant interviews. They travel to various countries, including Georgia, Armenia, and Turkey. They are expected to be followed by more.

A mid-March poll by OK Russians, a non-profit organization that helps people leave the country, estimates that about 300,000 working Russians have left since the start of the war, which began in late February.

Although no accurate estimates of the number of people leaving Russia are available, some economists have come to similar conclusions about the scale of the “brain drain.” According to Russia’s statistics agency Rosstat, about 500,000 people have already left Russia in 2020.

“People who either leave or plan to leave are highly educated and generally young,” said Elina Ribakova, deputy chief economist at the Institute of International Finance (IIF). “This is your (Russia’s) most productive part of the workforce that is disappearing, “she added.

A few days ago, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) predicted that the Russian economy would shrink by 10% this year, while earlier today the World Bank bets on a decline in Russia’s GDP by about 11% as a result of Western financial sanctions.

However, the World Bank also presented a more negative scenario, reflecting further fluctuations in commodity prices and a loss of confidence in financial markets caused by the escalation of the war in Ukraine, which could lead to a 20 percent contraction in Russia’s GDP.

Marina Ovsyannikova got a job in the German newspaper “Welt”

The Russian journalist, who gained worldwide fame after appearing on the air of the most famous Russian news program during a live broadcast to protest against the war in Ukraine, got a job in a German company, DPA reported.

Marina Ovsyannikova has accepted to work as a freelance correspondent for the Welt newspaper, the Axel Springer media group announced today in Berlin. She will make reports for the newspaper from Ukraine and Russia, as well as from other places, and will regularly appear on the TV channel of the same name.

Last month, during the main evening news program, the 43-year-old journalist, who was a producer on Russian State Television’s First Channel at the time, put up a poster protesting the Russian war in Ukraine: “Stop the war. Don’t believe the propaganda. They are lying to you here. Her protest sparked a wave of support around the world, but the Kremlin condemned Ovsyannikova’s actions and she was arrested and fined.

Wolff Poschard, editor-in-chief of the Welt media group and spokesman for the board of WeltH24, said Ovsyannikova’s new job would help keep her safe. “Through her work, she is becoming more visible to us,” Poschard told the DPA. He rejected the suggestion that the Welt was trying to send a political signal to President Putin. “We are into journalism, not politics,” he said. “Good, courageous, and incorruptible journalism is a threat to every autocrat and dictator. It is also a threat to those who limit the opportunity to express an opinion in open societies like ours, “Poschard explained.

Ovsyannikova published her first article in today’s online edition of Welt. It is titled “The Russians Are Afraid” and talks about the consequences of its television appearance.

Although she is accepted by many people around the world as a hero, she still faces hostility from her relatives. A Russian court has already fined her one and a second, as she is accused of “public actions that discredit the mission of the armed forces of the Russian Federation.”

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