Following the military operation in Ukraine, economic sanctions and Western restrictions are forcing Russian businessmen to look for alternative ways to keep their businesses afloat. Some large holdings are considering "business migration" to countries with sufficient financial resources in the market in the Middle East. Russia's leading financial, banking, insurance, and industrial corporations mainly prefer "capital amnesties" and reciprocal remittances in China, Malaysia, Serbia, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Indonesia, and other countries.

For several days now, Armenia and media outlets close to them have been campaigning, claiming that well-known Russian companies are relocating their offices to Armenia, and that some companies have already begun the process of relocating their businesses to Armenia. Armenian Economy Minister Vahan Kerobyan said that about 10 Russian companies are already in Armenia and several more will "move" soon. (Source)

Faktyoxla Lab. has investigated the fact that large Russian companies and holdings left their country and moved to Armenia.

If we look at the number of passengers of Russian airlines landing at Yerevan's Zvartnots Airport over the past 10 days, we can see that the vast majority of visitors to Armenia are ethnic Armenians living temporarily or permanently in Russia and Ukraine. Although the Minister of Economy mentioned Russian companies, the Armenian Migration Service could not say how many non-Armenians, especially businessmen, came. Because there is no well-known, even average statistical business representative of an influential company among them. Even Vahan Kerobyan himself admits that the idea of ​​"the arrival of dozens, even hundreds of companies" is just speculation, and their identities are not yet known. (Source)

In the week following the start of the military operation in Ukraine, from February 21 to February 27, the social platform Yandex received 19,738 appeals with the words "Leave Russia", the vast majority of which are Armenians. Thousands of Armenians who stopped working in Russia and returned home after the ruble depreciated were also registered at Yerevan airport. (Source)

An Armenian public activist named Khachatryan says that the businessmen or co-founders of companies who want to move their business to Armenia are of Armenian origin. (Source)

Let's pay attention to a very important point here, according to the Russian Federal Migration Service, in the first half of 2021 alone, about 22,000 Armenians received Russian citizenship. This is the highest figure for the last four years. (Source)

Now, some of those Armenians, who are Russian citizens, Armenians who once settled in Moscow, St. Petersburg and other major industrial cities and obtained Russian citizenship, are returning to Yerevan, given the "prospects" of the current difficult situation. This is not, in fact, the migration of Russian companies to Armenia, but the return of Armenian business groups in the Russian Federation to their countries. The Armenian media presents it more as the arrival of Russians in Armenia.

It is also clear from the video footage and reports that those who left Russia are IT specialists, computer programmers and developers, media workers. For example, a young man named Yevgeny, who works as a programmer in an ordinary office in Russia, plans to move to Armenia due to the blocking of Internet resources in his country. He hopes that Armenia will find a job for him in the field of information technology, which employs about 20,000 people. US and EU sanctions against Russia are aimed at restricting the country's access to high technology and complicating the financial transactions of its companies abroad. An engineer working for a Russian technology company who bought a ticket to Yerevan attributes his decision not only to economic reasons, but also to his country's protest against the attack on Ukraine. "Our company promised to help those who want to leave, but did not say how. That's why I'm leaving myself, "said a female employee, who did not want to be named. Alexei, a 25-year-old media worker, was forced to leave his country due to the blocking of social media platforms. Has anyone noticed that this 25-year-old works for a reputable Russian media outlet? (Source)

Why don't those who eloquently present the arrival of 10-15 IT specialists in Yerevan as "Russia's big companies are coming" disclose the names of those companies? After all, if there was only one well-known Russian company, the Armenian media would advertise that businessman day and night.

The Armenian minister says that Russians who come to the country avoid talking about why they chose Armenia. If a businessman comes to a country with the intention of starting a business, why should he avoid talking and disclosing his business plans?

But what legal and economic issues has the government resolved to keep the "companies" that moved to Armenia? Economy Minister Vahan Kerobyan did not want to answer this question either. Interesting, isn't it? (Source)

Apparently, those who want to come to Armenia in an extremely limited number are ordinary IT specialists. They are not business owners, but ordinary engineers who are paid by a communications company. These poor young people did not want to invest in Armenia, they just wanted to work temporarily in the computer centers in Yerevan for a medium salary. They do not have enough financial capital or investment projects that can contribute to the economy.

Not to mention that even before the war, professionals in various fields in Russia applied for vacancies on social networks in search of work abroad. This young generation, mainly in their 30s and 40s, was checking their chances of building a better career in different European countries, not because of sanctions.

Let's pay attention to the geographical composition of the applications, those looking for work abroad are mainly those who joined the vacancies in the European Union, Asia, North and South America. For example, young people prefer to work for the international marketing company Ortnec for 3,700 euros. Or, the vast majority of applicants want to work at Check-Zimmer in Cyprus for 3,000-4,000 euros, or at Leipzig in Germany, Wenzhou in China or Mascotte in Fujian. That is, there is always a brain drain, not a conflict and political issues, but the search for better social welfare. (Source)

Now let's think, will those who are looking for a job for 3,000-4,000 euros come to work in Armenia, where the average monthly salary is $400? It is known that IT companies, communication specialists mediating in the service sector turn to the most prestigious IT platforms. For example, thousands of Russians worked in the Russian section of, the world's largest travel and travel ad platform. Now this platform is blocked, specialists are scattered in different countries, and it is natural that 5-10 of them choose Armenia. These people do not invest with bags, they just go to this country with the intention to work and get paid in the country they go to with their clothes and accessories. This is not a "large Russian company setting up business in Armenia," but a temporary relocation of cheap labor. At best, it is the business migration of a micro-entrepreneur with a financial portfolio of $20,000-30,000.

Despite the fuss of the Armenian media, the situation is completely different. Talented young people who have lost their jobs in the field of ICT and services in Russia mostly go to Turkey, Cyprus, Poland, Kazakhstan, Serbia and Estonia. (Source)

Now let's look at a claim made by Armenian Economy Minister Vahan Kerobyan. The minister said that Russian companies can enter international markets not directly, but through Armenia. (Source)

It is no secret that the corridor connecting Armenia with Russia is in the hands of Azerbaijan only, and after the launch of the Zangazur corridor, Armenia will be able to connect with Russia through Azerbaijan's communication systems. Azerbaijan will determine the integration of this transport network with global markets. In this case, it is unclear how Kerobyan talks about helping Russia enter international markets.

Kerobyan also said that the Armenian government is preparing, among other things, various scenarios for the exchange rate of the Russian ruble, the SWIFT system, banking and financial systems, and the high-tech sector. (Source)

What financial assets does Armenia have to help protect the ruble? Russia's economy is worth $2.7 trillion, while Armenia's is worth $16.8 billion, 180 times smaller than the Russian economy. Russia's financial assets are 200 times more than Armenia's total reserves. The Russian Federal Government inverts $500 million a day in dollar terms to protect the ruble, which is equivalent to Armenia's annual exports. In this case, Armenia's "backing" of the ruble is like a beggar advising a capitalist to invest.

Interestingly, unemployment is rising in Armenia, people cannot find a normal job, the number of people leaving Armenia has more than doubled in the last six months.

The stagnation of the economy and the psychological and physical frustration caused by the bitter defeat in the war have led to mass migration from Armenia over the past year. Although official sources are trying to reduce the number of people leaving the country, estimates by public institutions confirm that the number of migrants is growing.

If migration stopped partially between 2018 and 2020, in 2021 the situation changed dramatically and in the first nine months of last year alone, more than 103,000 Armenians left the country. This is about 3% of the country's population. Economist Grant Mikaelyan said that the economic crisis has forced people to spend all their savings and people go abroad because their income opportunities are very limited.

Even the head of the Armenian Migration Service, Armen Ghazaryan, acknowledges the bitter reality, saying that migration is closely linked to the economic situation. (Source)

It should also be noted that Russia's major companies have not yet made any announcements about moving to another country, and the federal government has said that financial and economic transit through sanctions will be directed to China, the world's second-largest economic giant. (Source)

In other words, Armenia has no share in these global processes.

Thus, about 10 Russian companies are already in Armenia, and the claim that several more will soon "move" was partially refuted. The immigrants were middle-class Armenians who worked in Russia and earned money, and who considered it a threat to stay in Russia. On the other hand, in the first nine months of 2021 alone, more than 103,000 Armenians left the country. It is absurd to claim that foreign companies have moved to the country in such conditions.