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Nearly one in three people aged 18 to 24 in Russia wants to leave the country and live abroad, according to a survey by public pollster VTsIOM published on Monday.

Of those young people who said they wanted to emigrate — 31 percent — Germany was the most popular destination and favoured by 16 percent of respondents.

Seven percent wanted to move to the United States and six percent to Spain.

Russia is currently basking in international attention as it hosts the football World Cup.

But the quality of life declined over President Vladimir Putin’s previous Kremlin term and it has become increasingly isolated on the global stage in recent years.

The economy has been hit by Western sanctions over its annexation of the Crimea region in Ukraine.

It has also quarrelled with Western powers over its role in the war in Syria.

Across all age groups, the proportion who want to leave is one in 10, VTsIOM said.

That figure has varied between 10 and 13 percent since 2011.

The institute, considered close to the Kremlin, questioned 2,000 Russians for the survey.

Its head Stepan Lvov insisted the figures indicated young Russians’ “growing openness to the outside world”, rather than a desire to “flee the horrible reality of Russia”.

More than 313,000 Russians left the country in 2016, according to the latest data from state statistics institute Rosstat.

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