A white émigré was a Russian subject who emigrated from the territory of former Imperial Russia in the wake of the Russian Revolution (1917) and the Russian Civil War (1917–1923), and who was in opposition to the revolutionary Russian political climate. Many white émigrés participated in the White movement or supported it, although the term is often broadly applied to anyone who may have left the country due to the change in régimes.
Most white émigrés left Russia from 1917 to 1920 (estimates vary between 900,000 and 2 million), although some managed to leave during the 1920s and 1930s or were expelled by the Soviet government.
A term sometimes used is "first-wave émigrés". "Second-wave émigrés" emigrated in association with World War II. Other terms include "Russian émigrés" or "Russian military émigrés", if they participated in the White movement. In East Asia, "White Russian" is the term is most commonly used for white émigrés, even though they were not all ethnic Russians.