The former oil tycoon Mikhail B. Khodorkovsky, who spent 10 years in prison after falling afoul of Mr. Putin and now lives in London, said he spends 12 hours a day immersed in communications with people in Russia. He is determined, Mr. Khodorkovsky said in a phone interview, to make sure he does not lose touch with a country he last saw as a free man in 2003.
Two news outlets and a legal-rights group in Russia backed by Mr. Khodorkovsky shut down this month after organizations linked to him were declared “undesirable.” Andrei Pivorarov, a former head of Mr. Khodorkovsky’s Open Russia movement, was arrested after boarding a flight to Warsaw in May — a sign that not all dissidents are being allowed to flee.
“I believed it was imperative to continue working in the open and in public until the last moment, so long as that possibility existed,” Mr. Khodorkovsky said. But now, he said, “the risks of such work have become too great.”
As opposition leaders leave, the pro-Kremlin news media scornfully reports on their departures. A comment posted to a popular pro-Kremlin account on the social network Telegram, for instance, said Ms. Sobol’s exit showed that “the Navalnyites can be associated with nothing but cowardly rats.”