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At Least 2.5K Scholars Left Russia Since Ukraine Invasion – Novaya Gazeta

The Higher School of Economics in Moscow. Sophia Sandurskaya / Moskva News Agency

At least 2,500 scholars have left Russia since its forces invaded Ukraine nearly two years ago, the independent news outlet Novaya Gazeta Europe reported Thursday, citing data from global research databases. 

Between 2022 and 2023, some 1,600 Russian scholars changed their employment status to a foreign institution, while 900 others either quit or deleted their affiliation with Russia and listed a different country as their residence, according to data from Open Researcher and Contributor ID (ORCID), which indexes academic researchers.

Novaya Gazeta said 30% of scholars registered with ORCID had moved out of Russia in 2022, noting also that between 2012 and 2021 that share stood at 10% per year.

At the same time, the outlet said the share of foreign scholars working in Russia dropped from 7% in 2021 to 2% in 2023.

Novaya Gazeta listed the United States, Germany, Israel, the United Kingdom and France, as well as Uzbekistan, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), as the top destinations for scholars who left Russia.

Scholars typically change affiliations to not only escape possible repression in Russia but to ease their access to essential equipment, international projects and publishing opportunities, a Russian academic told Novaya Gazeta on condition of anonymity. 

Since March 2022, Russian researchers across all disciplines have lost access to most foreign databases, digital libraries and scientific cloud infrastructure, according to Russia’s Education and Science Ministry.

In November, investigative media reported that Russian authorities had started collecting the personal information of scholars who maintain contact with foreigners amid an alarming rise in wartime treason and espionage arrests, which have led to the jailing of several Russian scientists.

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