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Federation Council speaker Valentina Matviyenko compares people who left Russia with rats leaving sinking ship, quotes Churchill

Source: Meduza

Federation Council Chairwoman Valentina Matviyenko said that people who have left Russia, and now criticize its government from abroad, shouldn’t come back:

Those who are abroad — if that’s the way they dump on their homeland, they better stay there; if they like it so much, they shouldn’t come back to us.

Regarding those people, Matviyenko added, it might be true to say that “one should sometimes pretend that the ship is sinking, so that the rats might all flee.” Matviyenko attributed this aphorism to Winston Churchill. Meduza was unable to verify whether Churchill ever said anything similar.

Matviyenko said that the Russian society views those who criticize Russia from abroad as “traitors.” She is also against prohibiting anyone from leaving Russia if they want to.

Since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Russian people are leaving their country in record numbers. Tens of thousands of people left in the first weeks of the war. Since Vladimir Putin’s September 21announcement of mobilization in Russia, hundreds of thousands more left the country.

Forbes Russia has reported, for example, that only between September 21 and October 4, 600,000–700,000 Russians went abroad. Although Forbes attributed this figure to a Kremlin source, the presidential Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov denied this information (and wondered aloud whether Forbes Russia really does exist).

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