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If Russians Had Any Power to Remove Putin From Office, They Would Have Stayed Home

The best and the brightest left Russia because they knew better.

3 min readOct 3, 2022


I was shocked when Russia invaded Ukraine in February of this year. I can recall reading articles by people who lived in Russia, crying night after night over the war. Unable to sleep, eat or console themselves, they poured their heart out across the internet.

And some of them left home. For good.

Recall the mass exodus of young professionals from Russia. They were mostly remote workers. They were affluent. They couldn’t get paid because of the sanctions. They left everything behind except their families and their jobs.

The invasion was predictable. It almost looked like it was planned to me. Not just by Russia, but by America, too. There were common phrases in the narrative. It went something like this…

The elite in America wanted to get rid of Vladimir Putin. They decided to foment a war that would be Russia’s Afghanistan. They wanted a war so unpalatable and unpleasant that the Russian people would vote out Putin or depose him.

7 months have gone by. Putin is still there. He’s still calling the shots. He celebrates overcoming wave after wave of sanctions. He has defied many predictions of his comeuppance. He kept selling gas at least, until now. I suspect he has other pipelines. He continues to sell raw materials that the world needs, to finance his war.

Then the mobilization came. Lines formed at the borders, airports, and train stations, of men who wanted to get out. Flights got expensive. Officers showed up at the exits, looking for people on their list of men wanted for service in the armed forces.

If the goal of the war was to give the people of Russia an incentive to put Putin out like a cat, the people most likely to do that are gone now. They had the money, the connections, and the will to do something about it. They bailed. They didn’t believe that they had the power to change Putin or they would have stayed. All that is left are the people who believe in the war or those who are also powerless to stop it.