Slava Shvets, journalist, art historian
The feed is full of sighs about how hard it is now for the citizens of the Russian Federation abroad.
Well, where is my stool.
“Russians are not allowed to open bank accounts and are subjected to all sorts of obstacles".
I was able to open my first bank account after 4-5 years of living in Italy. Not a single bank satisfied a residence permit based on study - and, despite a good salary (I studied and worked), they did not open an account. Then they miraculously opened it, the card was a piece of plastic, with which it was possible to withdraw money from an ATM only of this bank - and no others, not to mention payment.
It was 2002 outside. Further, for many years there was a battle for an upgrade - for a better bank account, for a card at least a visa-mastercard, etc. etc.
Therefore, when you now hear screams that tourists are not opening accounts in the EU, it sounds very funny. Dear ones, they have never been opened to any non-EU citizens before (for many years).
And after "Crimea-is-ours", our relations with Russia deteriorated sharply - it was only a miracle to open an account with a Russian passport in Italy.
So - good morning. Welcome to reality. In Italy (and in most of the EU countries) it certainly was the same 20 years ago. It just got a little more difficult after February 2022. Guess why.
“Citizens of the Russian Federation are not being helped to flee from Putin and his regime, but on the contrary, they are putting up obstacles. But if they had created the conditions, then everyone would have left".
I'm sorry to upset some, but saving the drowning is primarily the work of the drowning themselves. And the last one too. The world is monstrous and cruel, there are many wars and refugees in it. It is not clear why it was those fleeing the Russian regime who deserved special treatment - and not the Syrians, Kurds or the people of Thailand. They are just as scared, their lives are just as in danger - and many of them do not pass the status of "refugee", they are subject to the rules for emigrants.
The rules of host countries for all of them are the same. No one is obligated to help you bypass the others. It's sad, but that's the reality.
"Evil emigrants gloat over those who left, Russians do not respect each other, do not pity and do not support"
Everyone is very sorry. The fugitives who are forced to leave their home and run away are always very sorry. But - see the previous paragraph - I will not feel sorry for the people who decide to demand "special conditions" for themselves.
Let me write in simple terms.
For the first time, many faced the problems associated with moving to another country and the inevitable loss of opportunities and status that follows from this. For a person who was born and lived in country A, who received the citizenship of country A by birthright, it is almost impossible to explain what the social steps below look like, on which there are citizens of countries B, C, D and E.
How impossible it is to walk around the conditional Moscow-Petersburg - then everywhere with a Ukrainian, Kazakh, Belarusian or Turkmen passport. How powerless is an immigrant in the Russian Federation. What hell is hiding in the corridors, where they are waiting for the submission of documents for a residence permit. What an endless humiliation, pressure, squeezing bribes and kickbacks. Rudeness. Documents that are just thrown in your face. What is it like to feel like a second or third grade, a completely disenfranchised being. What is it like not being able to get a job, “apartments only for people of good appearance”, etc. etc.
And now the people who were at the top of the ladder of opportunities - suddenly (suddenly) were at the bottom.
Suddenly they became immigrants. All of a sudden, now they don’t open accounts, they don’t give them jobs, they don’t rent apartments. And instead of getting out, they begin to carry their charter to a strange monastery and demand the former privileges that were due to them by birthright and citizenship of their distant country.
So. Yes, it doesn't work. Emigration always begins with the fact that you are sliding down the social ladder deep down. And already from there - through language, work, social connections, many years of trying to improve life - you are trying to get up.
An emigrant is not a gift and not "working hands", as they like to argue on Facebook. An immigrant is a big problem. He is not welcome by default. He will have to prove to everyone and himself that he can settle down in a new country. And survive.
The world is not your mother, it will not love you by default.
As much as you would like the opposite.