The rich are fleeing Russia, and more than 15,000 millionaires — 15% of the country's ultrarich population — are expected to leave this year

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Russian President Vladimir Putin
Rich Russians are fleeing President Vladimir Putin's country.Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images
  • Over 15,000 millionaires are expected to flee Russia in 2022, the Henley Global Citizens Report said.

  • The number of rich people leaving Russia this year is expected to be three times as many as in 2019.

  • The top destination for wealthy individuals fleeing Russia is the United Arab Emirates.

More than 15,000 millionaires are expected to leave Russia this year as the rich flee the country amid sweeping sanctions over the war in Ukraine, a report published on Monday said.

The expected exodus accounts for 15% of Russia's millionaire pool, and it amounts to nearly three times the 5,500 millionaires who left Russia in 2019, according to the Henley Global Citizens Report. The report is based on information including official immigration data and real-estate purchases by millionaires.

Russia is "hemorrhaging millionaires," wrote Andrew Amoils, the head of research at New World Wealth, which worked on the report with Henley & Partners, a residency and citizenship advisory firm in London.

"Affluent individuals have been emigrating from Russia in steadily rising numbers every year over the past decade, an early warning sign of the current problems the country is facing," Amoils added. "Historically, major country collapses have usually been preceded by an acceleration in emigration of wealthy people, who are often the first to leave as they have the means to do so."

Russia was hit with sweeping sanctions after its invasion of Ukraine on February 24, prompting some of its wealthiest people to leave. Some oligarchs have fled to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, where they have been snapping up real estate, The Observer reported in March.

Overall, the United Arab Emirates has "become the focus of intense interest among affluent investors" and is expected to be the biggest winner as some 4,000 millionaires from around the world are expected to flock to the country in 2022 — a record for the city and a 208% jump over the net inflow of 1,300 in 2019, according to Amoils. The United Arab Emirates used to attract about 1,000 millionaires a year before the pandemic.

Amoils attributed the country's popularity to its status as an international business hub as well as its competitive tax rates.

Ukraine is also expected to lose millionaires, with a record 2,800 expected to leave the country this year, according to the migration-trends report. This represents 42% of Ukraine's millionaire population and, Amoils wrote, "it is difficult to know if these millionaires will return to Ukraine once the war ends, as many of them may be granted residence in other European countries."

Read the original article on Business Insider