Russia faces ‘brain drain’ and labor shortages as men flee, Britain says

Russia is likely to face a “brain drain” and labor shortages amid a mass exodus of men fleeing Vladimir Putin’s partial mobilization, Britain’s Defense Ministry said on Thursday.

The UK MoD’s daily intelligence update says that in the seven days since Putin announced his partial mobilization, there has been a sizeable exodus of Russians attempting to evade conscription.

While exact numbers are unclear, the number of people who fled even before mobilization in Russia likely exceeds the total number deployed to the war against Ukraine when it began in February, the Defense Ministry estimated.

Reservists drafted during the partial mobilization
Reservists drafted during partial mobilization attend a farewell ceremony in Sevastopol, Crimea, September 27, 2022. Russian President Vladimir Putin on September 21 announced a mobilization of hundreds of thousands of Russian men to strengthen Moscow’s army in Ukraine, prompting demonstrations and an exodus of men abroad.

“Combined with the mobilized reservists, the domestic economic impact of reduced labor availability and accelerating brain drain is likely to become increasingly significant,” the UK Department said in its daily report.

Since September 21, many citizens have tried to flee the country to Russia’s neighboring states by car, train and plane.

A nearly 10-mile long conglomeration of vehicles was recorded near Russia’s borders with several neighboring countries, including Georgia, on Tuesday, according to Maxar Technologies, a US company that compiled satellite imagery of the traffic line.

A previous search for news week noted that six miles of traffic had accumulated on the Russia-Georgia border the morning after Putin announced a partial military mobilization.

Anticipating an influx of Russians fleeing the country under Putin’s decree, Latvia on Wednesday declared a state of emergency near its border with Russia. The state of emergency was imposed “due to the mobilization announced in Russia”.

The Latvian government said the emergency order would be in place by December in regions of the country bordering Russia’s Pskov region, as well as at airports, border crossings, ports and railways.

Analysis by Bloomberg suggests as many as 200,000 Russians have fled the country after Putin and defense officials said up to 300,000 reservists would be called up to fight in Ukraine.

There have been several reports of subpoenas being issued to those who were to be exempted from the order.

Vyacheslav Gladkov, governor of the Belgorod region, which lies near Russia’s border with Ukraine, said Wednesday that Russian students were mistakenly included in initial conscription efforts in the first days after Putin’s partial mobilization order.

And in another incident last week, there was an apparent attempt to draft students at Buryat State University in Ulan-Ude, the capital of the Siberian Republic of Buryatia.

Acting military commissar of Russia’s Magadan region, Lt. Col. Yevgeny Derkakh, resigned this week over mobilization failures, state news agency Lenta reported.

news week has asked the Russian Foreign Ministry for comment. Russia faces ‘brain drain’ and labor shortages as men flee, Britain says

Rick Schindler

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