It's been 8 years since I moved to Czechia and now I can call this place home. I already have a job, a degree, and a residence permit here. I got to Prague in 2014, right after Annexation of Crimea. Back then, I was monitoring the news, watching how violently the protestors were detained, how the annexation was praised by the Russian propaganda, not willing to believe what economical impact it had on the country. In 2012, watching how the Bolotnaya protests were crushed, how Pussy Riot were put into jail, how a new Blasphemy law was released, and how Putin was elected again, having violated all the possible procedures, my parents had understood that migration is one of the best options for people of my age.

Having finished school, not knowing the language, I went to Prague with little luggage I had. I quickly learnt Czech, graduated from a University, found a job, met new friends. Unlike some of the fellow Russians, I got lucky. I was not present when the repressions got worse. My young years have been spent in a country where one is not used to sacrificing their freedom and political rights for security and a decent life. Here, in Europe, it's quite natural for me to express my beliefs, and protest when it's needed without any fear. Being here, I was still hoping that one day the situation in Russia would change – the voices would be heard, the elections would be fair one day, and the country would be free. I still believe that one day I would come back to a free country to start a new career, to be surrounded by the language and the culture I love.

The following years, up until now, showed me how naïve I was, how little did I know. Though, what happened at the end of February couldn't have been predicted even by the most sceptical minds. At once, the Russian government stopped pretending to be any sort of a democratic system by starting this useless, violent, and criminal warfare against our closest neighbour. It simply brought to nought all 30 previous years along with the future. I still believe that this totalitarian nightmare will come to an end, yet living in Europe while your family is there makes me feel uneasy. Most of the world has turned away from Russians, fairly so – we see how many of them, having been lied to and misled by the propaganda, blindly support the crime. At the same time, there are many of them who don't – the ones who are ashamed, disgusted, and scared.For quite some time, silence has been the price for your safety – even more so now, considering the recent repressions. For those who are not there it may seem like a silent support of the crime. Yet the ones who are still there have little choice, and one of them is to flee the country. I hope that one day I'll be able to meet my family – in any place where one is not scared.

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Our stand on the Russian invasion to Ukraine

Russia started the war against Ukraine. This war is happening from 2014. It has only intensified on February 24th 2022. Milions of Ukrainians are suffering. The perpetrators of this must be brought to justice for their crimes.

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