Just a year ago, Russian journalist Vladimir Yakovlev was one of Moscow’s most influential media figures.
Today, he lives a quiet life in Tel Aviv and has swapped his Russian passport for an Israeli one.
Yakovlev, the founder of the respected Kommersant publishing house and the Snob magazine, belongs to a new wave of disillusioned Russian Jews deserting their country for the relative stability of Israel.
“The big problem with Russia, and the main reason why I left, is the fact that our value system was destroyed,” he says. “Life in Russia has turned into Russian roulette. Every morning you turn the roulette wheel, you never know what is going to happen to you.”
Spooked by Russia’s actions in Ukraine and by the increasingly stringent punishments for anyone deemed critical of the Kremlin, Russians of Jewish descent have been fleeing in droves over the past 18 months.
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