Support The Moscow Times!

170K Russian IT Specialists Could Emigrate by April – Industry

Sophia Sandurskaya / Moskva News Agency

Up to 170,000 Russian IT specialists could flee the country by the end of April, industry figures warned Russian lawmakers Tuesday. 

Between 50,000-70,000 have already left Russia, the Russian Association for Electronic Communications (RAEC) estimates, in what the industry body is calling the “first wave” of a mass exodus of creative, entrepreneurial and prosperous Russians following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine and the country’s mounting international isolation.

Another 100,000 could leave in April, RAEC head Sergei Plugotarenko told Russian MPs during a session on the future of the country’s IT industry. 

Young Russians have fled the country in huge numbers in the weeks since Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, with many heading to former Soviet countries like Georgia, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan, as well as Turkey and Dubai. 

“The only thing holding back the second wave is expensive tickets, expensive accommodation [in many countries] … and no financial connectivity, it is now impossible to conduct [cross-border] transactions,” said Plugotarenko in a session titled “development of the IT industry in the context of sanctions,” Russia’s state-run Interfax news agency reported.

“But the second wave will definitely happen — according to our forecasts, 70,000-100,000 thousand people will leave in April — and that’s just IT specialists.”

The Russian government has introduced strict capital controls in response to Western sanctions, banning Russians from buying foreign currency at home and prohibiting sending dollars, euros and other hard currencies out of the country.

… we have a small favor to ask.

As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just 2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.


Read more