It has been estimated by a London-based citizenship-by-investment firm, and others, that around fifteen thousand millionaires will leave Russia in 2022. These are essentially people that are genuinely opposed to the war, and many are a part of the younger age groups that are quite clearly anti-war. In fact, this is the greatest exodus since the time Russians left their country one hundred and five years ago during the October Revolution of 1917.
As Russian President Putin struggles to win the war in Ukraine, people now live in conditions of censorship and martial law. A political opponent who fled Russia says, “It is better to leave now. Once a criminal case is opened, it could be too late.” Journalist Boris Grozovski has gone on record to say, “We are refugees. I was wanted in Russia for distributing anti-war petitions. We ran not from bullets or bombs, but from the fear of being put into prison for 15-20 years.”
Fear is the key that is driving Russians out of Russia, for a better future for their families. Many of those who have stayed back have nowhere else to go. Nor do they have the resources or the tactical nous to get out.
In the end, whether it is the burgeoning energy crisis, or rising inflation, or a general fall in living standards, war is hugely detrimental to the world. In July, thousands of demonstrators rallied to call for peace and protest against a NATO summit in Madrid. Social, anti-military and pacifist movements from around the world gathered to show support for a congress concluded in the Spanish capital by an anti-NATO group, and its latest declaration calling for peace. Demonstrators believed that an increase in defence spending in Europe pushed by the US-led military alliance was a threat to peace. It said unequivocally that the spending should be made in schools and hospitals instead.
The bigger picture is that it is man’s fundamental liberty to life and well-being that is at stake. As the world fights to survive another day, John F. Kennedy’s profound words delivered 61 years ago ring true now more than ever before in recent history.