Many hundreds of thousands of Russians have fled their increasingly authoritarian country since the start of Vladimir Putin’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, joining a global exile community. They include leaders of the political opposition, civil society and media who have long opposed the Kremlin, are natural allies against Russia’s war in Ukraine, and a key hope for reestablishing any future free and open Russian society.

The Institute of Current World Affairs held a series of four panel discussions with Russian opposition leaders, scholars, civil society activists and experts. They discussed the challenges faced by those in exile and what the future of Russia may look like. The events were co-sponsored by our partners American Purpose and the US Institute of Peace.

Russia’s new emigres: an overview

How do Russian exiles deal with the assigning of collective guilt? How can Western countries tap their human capital in the battle for liberal democracy? With Natalya Lunde, Andrei Soldatov, Margarita Zavadskaya and Jeffrey Gedmin on September 18, 2023

Russian political opposition in exile

Who is leading the Russian opposition in exile, what are they doing, planning, what are their main challenges? With Vladimir Milov, Ekaterina SchulmannSergey Aleksashenko and Gregory Feifer on October 5, 2023

Russian scholars in exile

How are Russian academics abroad trying to keep teaching, researching and preserving Russia’s intellectual capital for future generations? With Alexander AbashkinDmitry Dubrovsky, Maria Yudkevich and Gregory Feifer on November 16, 2023

Post-Putinist Russia

What are the plausible scenarios for a post-authoritarian Russia? What are the main challenges facing institutional and social reform, including decolonialization, the understanding of history and Russian identity, interests of minority regions? What roles should the US and other Western countries be playing, what lessons learned from the post-Soviet 1990s? With Sergei Guriev, Mikhail Zygar, Natalia ArnoJorgan Andrews and Miriam Lanskoy on February 16, 2024