This project has been funded via the EUI Early Stage Researchers (ESR) call 2022 and 2023.
According to the UN, Russia ranks among the top five in both the number of migrants and the number of its citizens living abroad. After February 24, 2022, following Ukraine crisis and the sharp increase in repression, the number of people leaving Russia increased dramatically. Hundreds of thousands have fled Russia, as reported by experts. Some of these emigres did not plan to leave the country until the moment they realized that their lives were under threat. According to several accounts, the current migration wave mostly consists of the middle class highly educated people with large networks and liberal political views. In other words, they are far from being representative of an average Russian citizen.
This project is a panel survey of Russian migrants who left the country after 24th of February 2022 combined with in-depth interviews with them. Exploring the newest wave would allow us to trace the dynamics of political attitudes and re-socialization in a variety of hosting states that also vary in their degree of political openness and democracy. How would ‘authoritarian’ socialization affect voting patterns and attitudes? Will migrants retain strong Russian national identities, remaining largely within their own communities and language group, or will they seek to learn the language of the host country and assimilate into new values and behaviours? Will different types of migrants respond differently, depending, perhaps, on the skills they carry with them and the corresponding economic opportunities in host countries? Finally, do these migrants form an alternative intellectual hub for a democratizing Russia? Would they serve as a potential asset, coordination centres for future democratization?
We will explore social and professional characteristics of migrants, their political experience (participation in protest activity/politics, experience of repression), their plans and intentions for migration, their resources and potential for participation in Russian democratization.