Russian Man under Threat of Military Mobilization is seeking Asylum in Bulgaria
Alex is from Moscow and he is against the war in Ukraine. While in Russia he received a summons for military exercises that he ignored and later, when the invasion started, he booked the first available flight to Bulgaria. He doesn’t want to kill anyone and he is afraid that he might be mobilized to fight Ukrainians. His only hope is to receive asylum in our country and continue the fight against Putin in peaceful means. Read his story below:
I don't want to kill anyone in this war.
My name is Alexander Strotzky. I'm from Moscow and I graduated with a Bachelor's degree from a pedagogical university.
I would never have thought that I would find myself in such a situation and that I would have to leave the city where I was born and my country. Like everyone else, I could not imagine that a full-scale war would break out with a neighboring independent state - Ukraine, and I still cannot fully comprehend how this is possible.
I myself have Ukrainian roots, I have friends and acquaintances in Ukraine. Seeing what's going on, sometimes I just can't control my emotions. At the beginning of the bombing, I was just shaking with resentment and fear for everyone. And now ... I don't sleep very well.
Shortly before the war (or “military operation”, as Russian propaganda calls it), I received several summonses for military exercises, which were thrown in my mailbox (according to the law at the time, they had to be served in person). Miraculously, one of them remained (my mother decided to keep it for some reason, even though I asked to throw it away), and the others were “lost”. They did not state the reason for the call.
Now everyone knows that even recruits are being sent to war (which has even been confirmed by Russian officials) and everyone has seen what they call “exercises” on the border with Ukraine.
I have already completed my compulsory military training in the barracks, which means that the probability of being mobilized and made to shoot at Ukrainians is very high.
I am really afraid for my life and for the lives of my relatives and friends who stayed in Moscow. Now everyone is trying to find some opportunities for further existence, they are looking for an opportunity to leave the country, sometimes at a very high price, which in the current economic situation is extremely difficult, but freedom and life itself are more valuable. In this sense, I am very lucky to be in Bulgaria now. Maybe some “sixth sense” helped me fly in time.
Every day, despite the repression, people take to the streets with anti-war slogans and posters. Almost immediately, they were arrested in a rude manner and threatened with severe consequences, imprisonment and strong pressure on them (up to physical threats in the police station, evidence of this was recorded and published through the channels of the human rights organization OVD-Info/ОВД-Инфо).
I took the last direct flight to Sofia on February 25. Before that, I had an open one-year tourist visa for Bulgaria. That's why I'm here legally. During the first three days, I turned to the Regional Police Department (02) for help, obtaining asylum - an opportunity to live and work legally without breaking the law; I was sent to the second (main - 01), where they gave me the address of the migration-center and I already asked for support there.
At the first opportunity, I went to events and demonstrations against the war in support of Ukraine. There is simply no other way. I had to be in person and show by example that many people in Russia do not support the current regime and dictatorship, along with aggressive actions against Ukraine. On March 13, 2022, a protest was organized, at which I also came to speak out against the war in Ukraine. For such action in Russia, I would be detained, accused of “discrediting the armed forces of the Russian Federation” (up to 15 years in prison), etc. only for the words “NO TO WAR” and other anti-war slogans with the Ukrainian flag and I'm sure they already know everything about me and my anti-war views.
I have never voted for “eternal” President Putin. I voted AGAINST the amendments to the Constitution, which were made only to “nullify” the mandates of a certain person.
I have always supported peaceful demonstrations and the opposition. Of course, I didn't participate in all of them, I had to study. But when I thought something was very important, I went to protest.
I managed to participate in the work of the headquarters and to support the opposition candidates: Anastasia Bryukhanova and Pyotr Karmanov. There I met many wonderful and free people. We did a great job, collecting signatures for their application and we managed to overcome this barrier. I am proud that I had the opportunity to work and be useful in this way in this campaign.
Then, due to electoral fraud with the help of DEV (Electronic Voting), our candidates failed to win in their constituencies, although they were previously leaders, as well as many other candidates supported by Smart Voting (the platform of Alexei Navalny's team). ). Of course, I went to another peaceful protest. Many people were detained, large fines were imposed, but I was not caught because I was extremely careful.
I graduated with honors in 2021, I was planning to start my career in Moscow, maybe in the field of education or other similar fields, but now all the plans have fallen apart.
I really hope that Bulgaria will be able to help me find refuge here from the disgusting and criminal regime and the real threat to my life, rights and freedoms.
Not the war!
Не на войната!
Thanks to Eugene Choupov for sending us Alex’s story.
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