The partial mobilization ordered by Kremlin chief Putin about two weeks ago triggered a veritable mass exodus. Tens of thousands of mostly young Russians have already fled to Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Finland. This is devastating for Russia, its economy and society.

Russia stopped 180 conscripts on the border with neighboring Georgia who were attempting to flee from being drafted into the military and thus into the war. They were handed a draft notice right at the Werchni Lars border crossing, as the Interfax agency reported on Sunday, citing the military commissariat of the Russian region of North Ossetia. 180. Not really much compared to all those who managed to escape abroad. For the Russian economy, this means above all: an immense brain drain.

Even before Putin’s partial mobilization, a total of 419,000 Russians had fled the dust since the beginning of the war in February, had left their country, had emigrated, Gerhard Mangott, Eastern Europe expert and professor of international relations at the University of Innsbruck, reported to FOCUS online. “Most of them were well-educated people who were rather critical of the regime.”

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What the attitude of those who have fled since September 21, before their possible or actual conscription, can only be conjectured. What is certain is that these generally young people are missing from Russian business and science. Or to quote Andrei Movchan, a Russian-born London financial expert and entrepreneur: “Total destruction is taking place.”

The high-tech sector is particularly affected. “Among those trying to leave Russia, the better-off and well-educated are over-represented,” the British Ministry of Defense reported a few days ago, citing its secret service.

However, the Russian economic system is not on the verge of collapse, the international business with raw materials is running too successfully. The large corporations operating in this branch of the economy can cope better with the loss of their workers or put a protective hand over them and declare them indispensable. A possibility that small and medium-sized companies do not have.

According to a “Welt” report, economist Movchan calculates that the new wave of emigration will cost the Russian economy an additional five percent. The knowledge migrates across the border and is no longer passed on, says Oleg Buklemischew from the State University in Moscow: In the long term, this will be “the most terrible blow to the Russian economy”, he is quoted as saying by the “Welt”.

According to an internal report quoted by the “Bloomberg” news agency, the Russian government fears that around 200,000 technology specialists will have left the country by 2025, reports “ntv” – the developments since partial mobilization are not even included here.

The economist and dean of studies at the Eastern Europe Institute at the Free University of Berlin, Theocharis Grigoriadis, reported to the broadcaster that it was no coincidence that the well-trained technology specialists in particular were leaving the country. Russia’s education in this field enjoys a good international reputation. On the international labor market, they would find a job more easily than Russian professionals in other industries.

For this very reason, Russian high-tech companies were actually promised that their employees would not be drafted. In practice, however, it should be different.