The Exodus From Russia
Author: Greg Valliere
February 24, 2023
THE REMARKABLY COURAGEOUS UKRAINIAN MILITARY gets credit for halting the Russian advance, as does the surprising unity in Western Europe and the U.S. Hawks have prevailed — even in the U.S. Congress, which will approve more aid to Kyiv.
BUT THERE’S ONE ASTONISHING DEVELOPMENT that has received relatively little publicity: the mass exodus of horrified Russians, who have fled conscription and the crumbling economy. This could have implications for decades, as talented young Russians make new lives in Armenia, Dubai, Georgia, the Baltic states and elsewhere.
THE WAR CRIMINAL VLADIMIR PUTIN has clamped down on domestic dissent, but just beneath the surface there’s a network of young Russians who are leaving in droves.
THE WASHINGTON POST REPORTS that initial data shows that at least 500,000 — and perhaps nearly 1 million — Russians have left in the year since the invasion began. This is becoming a tidal wave, on a scale with the emigration following the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution and the Soviet Union’s collapse in 1991.
NOT OVER YET: The war is nowhere close to ending (China’s offer to broker a truce is not taken seriously in the West). Another wave of conscription is likely, driving even more Russians out of the country.
REFUGEES HAVE FLED to Armenia and Kazakhstan, across borders open to Russians. Some with visas escaped to Finland, the Baltic states or elsewhere in Europe. Others ventured farther, the Post reports. In at least a dozen countries, a vibrant network of Russian expatriates has thrived.
THIS IS STRIPPING RUSSIA of highly skilled workers, especially in the IT sector. Many of these workers, and other wealthy Russians, have fled to Dubai.
THE END GAME: Sophisticated new weapons from the West will keep the Russians from advancing much farther, as poorly trained Russian conscripts die by the hundreds every day. Russia still has a manpower advantage, but troop morale is terrible, just as it was in 1917-18, as the Russian army fled from World War 1.
A DECISIVE VICTORY for either side on the battlefield is not imminent, but a collapse within Russia is continuing. Some elites and Putin supporters want a more aggressive military, but talented young people simply want to leave the country.
THE GENERALS AND OLIGARCHS surely can see the exodus and the extraordinary casualty figures. These generals and oligarchs must realize that they have the power to oust Putin and save Russia.
The views expressed in this blog are provided as a general source of information based on information available as of the date of publication and should not be considered as personal investment advice or an offer or solicitation to buy and/or sell securities. Speculation or stated believes about future events, such as market or economic conditions, company or security performance, or other projections represent the beliefs of the author and do not necessarily represent the view of AGF, its subsidiaries or any of its affiliated companies, funds or investment strategies. Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy in these commentaries at the time of publication; however, accuracy cannot be guaranteed. Market conditions may change and AGF accepts no responsibility for individual investment decisions arising from the use of or reliance on the information contained herein. Any financial projections are based on the opinions of the author and should not be considered as a forecast. The forward looking statements and opinions may be affected by changing economic circumstances and are subject to a number of uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated in the forward looking statements. The information contained in this commentary is designed to provide you with general information related to the political and economic environment in the United States. It is not intended to be comprehensive investment advice applicable to the circumstances of the individual.
AGF Investments is a group of wholly owned subsidiaries of AGF Management Limited, a Canadian reporting issuer. The subsidiaries included in AGF Investments are AGF Investments Inc. (AGFI), AGF Investments America Inc. (AGFA), AGF Investments LLC (AGFUS) and AGF International Advisors Company Limited (AGFIA). AGFA and AGFUS are registered advisors in the U.S. AGFI is a registered as a portfolio manager across Canadian securities commissions. AGFIA is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland and registered with the Australian Securities & Investments Commission. The subsidiaries that form AGF Investments manage a variety of mandates comprised of equity, fixed income and balanced assets.
About AGF Management Limited
Founded in 1957, AGF Management Limited (AGF) is an independent and globally diverse asset management firm. AGF brings a disciplined approach to delivering excellence in investment management through its fundamental, quantitative, alternative and high-net-worth businesses focused on providing an exceptional client experience. AGF’s suite of investment solutions extends globally to a wide range of clients, from financial advisors and individual investors to institutional investors including pension plans, corporate plans, sovereign wealth funds and endowments and foundations.
For further information, please visit AGF.com.
©2023 AGF Management Limited. All rights reserved.