Russians do not just not want to tell their stories, but are afraid. After all, almost all of them will have to go back to Russia. Sanctions are gaining momentum, and staying in Europe is becoming more difficult every day. On condition of complete anonymity, because of fear for themselves and their relatives, Russian citizens share with RusDelfi stories why they have to leave Estonia almost forcibly.
Vlada, a Russian woman with her husband and one-year-old daughter, lived in Estonia for almost a year. Her husband, an IT specialist, thought that the country of high-tech and startups would be a great place for a new life. He opened a work visa, rented an apartment, and moved his family to Tallinn. After applying for a residence permit, he received a negative response. “Sanctions…”, Vlada almost cries and packs her suitcases. With a few days left, the family will leave Estonia for good.
“There won’t be many things to take away, so I’m giving everything away in a hurry. There was some hope that the sanctions for IT workers would be reconsidered, but judging by the news, it’s getting worse and worse every day,” Vlada laments.
Now the family is returning to Russia. The woman’s husband will finish his work remotely, and from October he was invited to Germany. “Well, as invited. He himself was urgently looking for some good option. To live now in his homeland is not possible. Nor do I want to. In Estonia we are also aggressors, although here remains an interesting high-paying job, and thus – and good for the country taxes, “- continues to tell the Russian woman and notes that she is afraid to return to her homeland.
“And it seems that we did not express our position on the situation after February 24. But there’s no guarantee that they won’t. As they say, if there was a man, there would be an article for him. We have cleaned all phones and laptops so that no correspondence is visible. Now we’ll talk to you in the secret chat room, and I’ll delete everything, too,” Vlada finishes her conversation.
What if tomorrow we will be expelled from Estonia?
Tatiana’s husband is also an IT specialist, but he managed to get a temporary residence permit for five years, so the family has been in Estonia for two years. “But now we are thinking whether it made sense to move,” – shrugs the Russian woman. According to her, even last year their family liked almost everything in Estonia. “We were even looking for an apartment to buy. And this, in my opinion, is the most serious step. We were ready to stay in Tallinn forever,” says the Russian woman.
Together with her husband, they began to study Estonian. “I finished level A2, they called me now with an offer to go to B1, and I refused,” Tatiana notes sadly. – Due to recent events, I do not see any point. What if tomorrow we will be expelled from the country? Latvia is not going to prolong residence permits. Estonia won’t let you into the country on tourist visas. But it could come to the fact that they begin to deprive people of work visas and residence permits! And then what do we do? Where do we go? I am already scared of going to Russia. I’m scared for my husband. He will go straight into the army, if anything, whether he wants to or not. I’m scared for my children. And I’m afraid to even think about this problem.
According to the Russian woman, she is afraid to talk openly about her problems. “Because I don’t want to go straight to jail if we are deprived of our residence permit. I am sure that all Russians temporarily living in Estonia are thinking about this. We are enemies to our homeland now. We are traitors who go back. So I don’t understand why the Estonian government is doing this to us. After all, if we, the Russians, continue to be punished, the war will not end any faster.