"We do not have any plans for the future because we do not know how we can live here."


"I'm Istanbul for one month, from the beginning of March. My name is Andrey. I'm 43 years old. Before Istanbul, we were in Georgia and Armenia for two days. I entered Turkey formally as a tourist, but it is some kind of immigration of course. Because, we were afraid to stay at home. yes, I was a political activist. I took part in protest actions such, as demonstrations and I was arrested three times and spent in total a month in a prison. Police regularly visited my home for some kind of "prophylactical" conversations, urging me not to continue my activities . With my departure from Russia, there are almost no problems but my passport has stamps about my visiting to Ukrain in 2015. And I was interrogated by an FSB officer who did I do in Ukraine, about my friends in Ukraine, and how do my friends in Ukraine see the current situation. And my luggage was searched. But they allowed me to leave Russia. We do not have any plans for the future because we do not know how we can live here. We tried to go to Europe, but we failed. it is unclear if to stay here or go to Europe.

We lived in a small town close to Moscow. I was a lawyer, but my job activity was in Moscow [not in that small town, so I consider myself as a muscovite]. Yes, I worked as a lawyer in the consumers rights sector. My wife is a glass artist, she left the country [Russia] with me. Of course I consider Russian invasion to Ukraine is a crime against the humanity. I agree that 70% of russian people support this war, support the invasion, and they think that Ukraine has no right to exist. Unfortunately, I saw all these people by my own eyes and I see them in the internet, and it is the reality. I do not think [the Russian] Police is interested in me right here, because I'm not so big person to follow me outside Russia. But I see a danger for me if I return to Russia because. [The local] Police knows me. And of course when if it is an order from the administration, they will come to me and to some other people's who did the same things that I did. It does not necessarily that I would be arrested or I would be punished in any way. But the whole situation when you live in the fear... [A week had passed] when we left Russia after the invasion start and all this week we, when we heard steps on the stairs when if someone came up to our floor... It was uncomfortable to exist in the country, when you think you live [and it] maybe the last day in your freedom.

Did you do any problem in the airport?

I was interrogated by an FSB officer about my visiting to Ukraine, and about my friends in Ukraine and how these friends see the current situation, and my luggage was searched in the airport. Only luggage, not my phone. But we prepared it for phone search and we deleted some Telegram channels. I deleted Facebook application and we were prepare it. butI supposed it at this moment, everyone who went to leave Russia. Oh, yes, it is right. I would advice everybody to do the same. Because we [supposed] problems just before leaving the country, missing the plane. Yes, if interrogation continues more than two hours we could miss our plane and stay in Russia. Here we do just no volunteer work to help ukrainians living here. We are trying to [survive] ourselves here. We don't have much money. And we do not understand our future here. Maybe, if the Ukrainian consullate organizes, maybe, transporting and sorting of [things] they receive [as help], maybe we could do something, but we didn't know if somebody does this here.

Our live here consists of trying to earn money because, my past profession just unusable in Turkey and I cannot earn money by the way I did all my life. I try to study any ways to work distantly. We are trying to find ways to go further. We tried to visit consulates of some European countries. "