In Georgia, Russian fugitives test deportation

A heavy silence reigns in the room. Yuri Ziborev, a 35-year-old Russian psychologist, observes his patients, two men in their twenties and a slightly older woman – also Russian. His wife Tatiana Ziboreva is with him. “How are you doing?”asks the businessman. At the end of December, in Tbilisi, the day’s session proposes a promising topic for these exiles completely disorganized since their hasty departure from Russia: “The psychology of emigration”. This small gathering has been held in a building of the Russian NGO FRAME relocated to Georgia after the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022. In the basement, hundreds of medicines are waiting to be distributed. Ukrainian refugee. Above, five Russians prepare to discuss the test of exile, and how to overcome it in order to integrate.

trust your mood Doesn’t go without saying for these newcomers, who are still marked by the Soviet legacy. Under Leonid Brezhnev (1964–1982), it was in psychiatric hospitals that political dissidents were locked up. But the loneliness became so overwhelming that he decided to take the plunge. The first to start is 37-year-old Olga – none of those present wanted to reveal her last name. “I didn’t want to leaveshe assures. It’s chaos in my head. OK, Georgia is beautiful. But what am I doing here? , Dressed in a turtleneck and floral dress, the Kaliningrad artist left Russia with her daughter in November 2022, two months after her husband was driven into disaster following Vladimir Putin’s military mobilization announcement on September 21. even today she tells herself “astonished” And sad.

His neighbor Vlad is not keeping well. He absconded on 25 September. “I thought my friends would come with me, but they went to Kazakhstan, This 26 year old computer scientist explains. It’s hard to be alone here. In addition, Georgians do not like to answer us in Russian, you have to speak in English. This is tiring. , The third intervenes: “There are bars that won’t let you in because you’re Russian, or else they charge you 20% more! »Yegor Grievous, a 22-year-old computer analyst who arrived from St. Petersburg on September 26 to avoid being sent to the front.

“an attack hybrid »

In Tbilisi, where “Fuck Russia” graffiti appears on every street corner, some bars require their Russian patrons to sign a statement before they can enter it. “Putin is a war criminal”, The psychologist, who fled to Russia with his wife for the same reason as his interlocutors, has his opinion on this practice: “It’s a form of Nazismhe insists, echoing the Kremlin’s rhetoric about Ukrainians. this is absurd. If we are here, it is because we do not support Putin’s regime! ,

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