[Question] “Drain Putin’s brains” (help skilled Russians emigrate) as effective intervention to end the war sooner?

UPDATE: Probably not effective to end the war sooner but could be still effective to help Russians who disagree with Putin’s war (see Alex’ comment). Thanks Alex!

Epistemic status: I just thought of this 15min ago and wrote it up relatively quickly—good chance this intervention is not effective or maybe even net negative.

Russia’s military power is at least partly limited by skilled workers (besides technology, money, fuel, ..), especially those working in the military itself as well as those in related jobs (weapons, ammunition, logistics, ..), but also by everyone else who pays taxes in Russia and thereby helps finance the war. Many of those people might disagree with Putin’s war, and many others might be apolitical and would leave Russia for a better life abroad. This article elaborates on the case from a US perspective: https://​​www.washingtonpost.com/​​opinions/​​2022/​​03/​​24/​​welcome-russian-talent-skilled-workers-to-relocate-here/​​

Is this a good idea? Any reasons to believe this could be net negative? Maybe if it weakens the political opposition in Russia, or if risks the collapse of essential infrastructure that many Russians depend on? How should we weight that up?

And if people emigrate, where to?

Neighboring countries like Georgia where many speak Russian? Finland or other Nordic countries? Germany? I’m German and in our cities, English-speaking skilled Russian workers could easily get jobs and find friends without ever learning German and 3m people (4% of the German population) already speak Russian, so Germany might be a good destination even for Russians who do not speak any other language yet (caveat: I have not looked up the visa situation yet). English speaking countries? Any other suggestions?

If that’s a good idea, what are bottlenecks right now? How difficult is it for the average Russian to get unbiased information on the pro’s and con’s of (temporarily) leaving Russia and how difficult is it to do so? How welcoming are other countries towards Russian opposition members and apolitical Russians? (I’m confident that German society would welcome them, don’t have much insight in other countries)

Are any Russian EA community members considering emigrating? Can we help? I’m happy to help if you’re considering Germany, just message me! :)

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