Russia sees 1.3 million leave in three years

Russia sees 1.3 million leave in three years

Russia sees 1.3 million leave in three years

A Russian born sociologist currently working at Michigan State University has voiced his fears that the former Soviet Union is suffering because of rampant corruption, greed and mass emigration. Vladimir Shlapentokh said that liberalisation and openness had not led to democracy, and that his former home was now being run by a wealthy elite, corrupt politicians and the mafia.

He added that instead of supporting Russia, these people were hoarding their cash in foreign banks, purchasing foreign goods and sending their children abroad to receive an education. They also take their holidays in other countries and look to the West for their healthcare, he went on.

It is estimated that over the past three years around 1.3 million citizens have chosen to leave Russia. Schlapentokh explained that there were definite advantages to open borders, which can now be crossed easily by Russians, while it used to only be possible for a handful that had been cleared by the KGB.

However, he adds that the open borders have also made it easier for Putin to oppress those who oppose him by telling them to either get out of the country or remain and face imprisonment and harassment.

Shlapentokh said Russia may be massive, have vast natural resources, a UN Security Council seat and a nuclear arsenal, but it will never be a world power unless those running the country move away from an obsession with personal wealth and seriously devote themselves to freedom and other democratic ideals.

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