Russian exodus: IT experts, journalists, actors flee Putin’s regime
Moscow, Mar 31 (EFE).- Vladimir Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine sparked an exodus of Russian citizens who are politically opposed to what the Kremlin terms a “special military operation” in its smaller neighbor.
“I can’t take it anymore. The information pressure is unbearable. I have many friends in Ukraine. The other day I called one of them and he spoke to me from an anti-aircraft shelter,” a well-known Moscow journalist who has decided to leave the country and requested anonymity tells Efe.
According to Russian media, Russians and Ukrainians crossing the border are politely questioned by customs officials about their reasons for leaving Russia and their opinion of the Kremlin.
But president Putin made his opinion of exiles clear when he branded them traitors and scum in a recent speech.
“I can’t continue living here, but I don’t want to leave everything behind either, my job, my house, my children. What to do?” a Moscow-born woman of Spanish heritage asks in comments to Efe.
The IT sector has been battered by a brain drain on a massive scale, driven by digital restrictions, western sanctions and better possibilities outside Russia.
One of the most famous Russians to leave is actor Chulpan Khamatova, who rose to fame in 2003 with her role in Good Bye Lenin!
Khamatova moved to Riga after signing an anti-war petition.
A Russian comedian based in Spain was in Kyiv when the war broke out.
“My life has turned upside down. This is a humanitarian catastrophe. Now I can’t go back to Russia. How can I look into people’s eyes? From Slavic brothers we have become enemies,” she laments.
“It is very strange to be in a country occupied by Russia. I saw how they hated the Russian soldiers. I saw normal people preparing Molotov cocktails. I feel ashamed since many Russians see the operation as fair,” she adds. EFE