Property News

Oligarchs leave Rublyovka as new horizons beckon

The elitny region of Rublyovka looks to be losing its crown as the center of Moscow’s rich and famous as increasing numbers of oligarchs pack up and leave.

Europe beckons as the nightmarish commute into town wears thin and those in the upper slice of life forsake the suburb for the beating heart of the city or for abroad, as children’s exclusive schooling at British public schools draws parents closer to their brood, and as for some political influence in Russia wanes.

It comes as number crunchers bemoan a brain drain from Russia and the largest exodus since the revolution in 1917.

London calling

“Our neighbor has an apartment in London, they’ve already got passports and live when not in London then at the dacha in France,” a businessman based between London and Moscow told Vedomosti. On the other side of the fence the neighbor has sent his wife and young child abroad. When the wife is abroad he lives in the apartment in Moscow.

“If you walk through the village then, of the people who settled here 10 years ago, less than half remain. The others, one way or another, have simply stopped living here,” he said.

Rich kids

My daughter goes to school here,” the wife of another businessman told Vedomosti of the local exclusive educational establishment. “At one time or another the Khodorkovskys, Beryozkins, the daughter of Gromov, Aleshkins of Sberbank, Dvorkovich studied at this school,” she said, listing the families of Russia’s most famous prisoner Mikhail Khodorkovsky, tabloid Komsomolskaya Pravda owner Grigory Beryozkin, Moscow Region governor Boris Gromov, Sberbank executive Alla Aleshkina, and presidential aide Arkady Dvorkovich.

Lyubov Mashina, headmistress of local private school President, open and ready for those with the cash to pay since 2003, also laments the flow of departures, “I write them recommendations and see that they are planning to study abroad, principally in Britain,” Mashina told Vedomosti.

“Three years ago in [private] English schools littered around the country there were two-three Russian students in the senior years, now it is more like five-six,” she said.

Brain drain

The crisis has sharpened people’s appetites for settling abroad and it shows no sign of abating, Valery Fedorov, VTsIOM general director, told Vedomosti in June.

You have to be in certain niches to do well, says Mark Urnov, dean of the politics faculty at the Moscow Higher School of Economics, and if you feel yourself out of this privileged sphere of interest then you want to get out, “There is one reason, the investment climate in the country is lousy, with a constant semi-governmental racket in action and successful enterprises being seized. People don’t want to live and work like that.”

This is particularly serious, Urnov added, because the sector of society which is packing its suitcases is the very same which would most likely take forward the processes of modernization and reform, pointedly left out of Prime Minister Putin’s speech on Sunday, and the lack of which the bright young high fliers are lamenting.

Russia has not seen anything like it since 1917, reported. Over 1.25 million people have left in the last 10 years, the news portal reported. “The country is hemorrhaging intellectual potential,” cited political analyst Dmitry Oreshkin as saying. “The most active, the cleverest and the most mobile are leaving.”