Russian emigration higher than immigration

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Some 419,000 people left Russia in the first half of 2022 - twice as many as in the previous year - news agency RBC reports.

The figures also marked the first time in recent history that Russia saw emigration higher than immigration, with some 322,000 people recorded as leaving.

The Russian statistical authority Rosstat did not give details about the nationality of those migrating.

Russia traditionally attracts immigrants from former Soviet republics. This year, however, movement was in the other direction, with 369,000 people leaving Russia for former Soviet states and only 295,000 entering Russia from those countries. Almost 80,000 people chose Ukraine as their destination.

Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine in February, which led not only to an exodus from Ukraine, but also to a wave of people leaving Russia.

Russian political opponents went into exile and many young specialist workers also left the country in search of better opportunities as businesses withdrew.

Large Russian communities have formed in Armenia and Georgia, especially because of the relatively relaxed entry conditions for Russians.

The Russian population declined by 480,000 overall in the first six months of the year, with part of it due to natural population loss.