Well-educated Russians are leaving their homeland en masse to escape Putin’s dictatorship. Anyone who speaks to them learns that the autocrat also destroys his own society with war.
Jan Diesteldorf and Paulina Würminghausen, Frankfurt/Munich
Uncertainty has become a constant companion for Mike Melanin. Since Putin’s soldiers have been bombing Ukraine, he no longer knows what tomorrow will bring. When he gets up, he already hopes that something is not working on this new day. Software, for example, for the delivery robots that he and his team are developing in Moscow. Or the bank cards Melanin uses to withdraw a few hundred dollars every day so she can leave the country with enough cash at the end. Melanin, a start-up founder, a specialist in robots and artificial intelligence with experience in the US, is committed: “Under the current conditions, it has become impossible to develop high-tech products in Russia,” he says.