Following the full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, numerous Russians decided to leave their country. Georgia and Armenia were among the most popular destinations for Russian migrants, either as a temporary stopover or for more permanent relocation.
Young urbanites with higher education are disproportionately represented in this wave of migration, which has significant implications for the Russian labour market. The political consequences of the associated demographic changes remain uncertain—on the one hand, the Russian regime has exiled some of its most vocal critics; on the other, the comparatively liberal environments in their host countries might allow exiles to connect with one other and mount a challenge to the Putin regime. Both Armenia and Georgia are readily accessible for migrants, who can remain there de facto indefinitely.
Nonetheless, conditions for newly arrived Russians differ significantly between these countries. Armenia remains socially and politically closer to Russia, whereas public criticism of the Russian government and Russian society is more tangible in Georgia.
Centre for East European and International Studies (ZOiS) conducted a face-to-face survey in both countries in late 2022 that illuminates important patterns both within and across countries.
Read more about the survey findings: link
The project was realised with financial support from Friedrich Ebert Foundation, the Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute (HURI), the Davis Centre for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard, and Harvard’s Minda de Gunzburg Centre for European Studies.