...do not give up and do not despair, do what you think is the right thing to do. Russia will definitely be free.
Live your life
When you live your everyday life, you don't make your coffee to hail the bloody regime, you don't hug your family thinking of your country's president, you don't walk home after work to support your government. You just live to live. When we were living in Russia we were not entirely happy with what we had, and we actually tried to make it a better place with the tools we had: explain people what was inappropriate, smile to the guys working in your convenience store, file complaints if authorities failed to deliver, help if we can help, in short, be a human. To be honest, Putin was not the worst thing that happened to us, unfortunately, we've seen much worse. For the last ten years we've had our fair share of personal hardships not related to anything political.
We had already had to leave our hometown in despair a couple of years before it all started to find our home in Moscow. Being a family of three, with time, we found the place to live, several jobs with shining prospects. In January we felt confident enough to even plan a family vacation at the seaside. Well, it didn't work out in the end.
Though, it all stopped on February 24. That morning we were on a flight from a little Siberian town to Moscow. When we got on the plane, everything was still the same, but when we landed it all went pear-shaped.
For a couple of days we struggled to understand what actually happened. Pretty soon our bank, which was practically owned by the central bank of Russia, collapsed. I was unable to receive any payments both from Russia and overseas. At the same time, we started feeling the fear: it became totally impossible to actually say the w-word; news sites either collapsed or were banned, we couldn't find any credible information. Passing by any police person or office invoked nothing but panic. And a lot of police went to the streets those days. Starting from the early days of war and until departure we could only cope by drinking several bottles of wine daily. Within days of our departure legal actions against anyone who was against the war started.
At some point we decided to leave. Without any plans, just hoping for help. At first it was just a form of shock and protest, then it became a way to salvation. Our sense of security collapsed as well and probably was also banned on the territory of Russian Federation. We had a week to finish everything, every day of that week we were not sure that we would be permitted to go. 5 days before the flight my husband suddenly got a court notice about not paying for some internet services in the town he has never been. 4 days before the flight and on the verge of big national holidays, I also received a notice about not submitting some kind of a random-study report I had no idea about and threats that the officials of that department would to the court if I don't present the report during the national holidays.
Given how everything works in Russia, it might have been a mere coincidence. Or not. We'll never know.
We got very lucky, and our friends helped us to find accommodation and supported us in every way they could. Now we are in the middle of nothing, left with no plans and hopes, facing the urge to find some money to survive (doesn't work well with disabled cards) and new jobs (which will once again make us work around 16-18 hours daily), while our kid has to integrate to yet another completely new society after a couple of major relocations.
Our media platform would not exist without an international team of volunteers. Do you want to become one? Here's the list of currently opened positions:
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We talk about the current problems of Russia and of its people, standing against the war and for democracy. We strive to make our content as accessible as possible to the European audience.
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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.
Russian regime tries to silence its liberal voices. Russian people against the war exist - and the Russian regime tries its best to silence them. We want to prevent that and make their voices heard.
Connection is crucial. The Russian liberal initiatives are hard to read for European public at times. The legal, social and historical context of Russia is not always clear. We want to share information, build bridges and connect the liberal Russia with The West.
We believe in dialogue, not isolation. The oppositional powers in Russia will not be able to change anything without the support of the democratic world. We also believe that the dialogue should go both ways.
The choice is yours. We understand the anger for the Russian crimes. It is up to you whether you want to listen to the Russian people standing against this.