Non-Russian skaters training in Russia

Miezekatze

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I think first of all the RusFed would need to release them and I don't see the RusFed running to release anyone right now.
Talalaikina is in the process of switching to Italy, I think it's a done deal by now.
Here's an interview with her about her adaption in Italy:
 

airgelaal

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I'm actually not sure about that. I.e. the athletes switch places all the time from a pretty young age - Kurakova went to Canada alone as a teenager; Trankov wrote in details how he and Smirnov were surviving in St. Petersburg as teenagers while their families stayed in Perm and wherever Smirnov is from; Berezhnaya moved alone to Latvia when she was what? 13?

Have a feeling moving from Glazov to St. Petersburg was probably a bigger change than, say, from Moscow to Italy (language aside)
I meant that Russia could threaten their families.
 

Scott512

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Because Nastya has dual citizenship with Russia and Georgia she can live and train in Russia and represent Georgia internationally. That is brilliant.

I wonder if we will see other Russian figure skaters add a second citizenship not eliminate the Russian citizenship and allow them the same flexibility that Nastya has.
 

aka_gerbil

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I have mixed feelings on the idea of a skater continuing to train in Russia but representing somewhere else. However, IMO, any skater who says Russia is not for them anymore and wants to physically move to and train in another country, then they should be granted permission to switch from the ISU.
 

Trillian

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Because Nastya has dual citizenship with Russia and Georgia she can live and train in Russia and represent Georgia internationally. That is brilliant.

I wonder if we will see other Russian figure skaters add a second citizenship not eliminate the Russian citizenship and allow them the same flexibility that Nastya has.

Again… not that easy. Most countries have a path to citizenship that takes years; most also have requirements that include residing within the country, learning the national language, etc. Georgia is one of a small handful of ISU member countries that have a relatively flexible citizenship process, and they’re not going to take every single Russian skater.

Plus, the longer the current situation continues, the less likely training in Russia is going to be a good option for skaters that represent other countries. Even if they manage to maintain a high level infrastructure, traveling abroad won’t be easy and coaches may or may not be able to travel with them. Personally, I’m expecting the Georgian skaters to make long-term plans to train elsewhere if they plan to continue.
 

aka_gerbil

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I am not sure how I feel about Russians leaving Russia at the moment. On the one hand I can understand them so so so so much if they don't agree with Putin and don't want to live there - otoh - we have now 1.5 billion refugees from Ukraine and they take precedent. If we add refugees from Russia, this would overwhelm everything.
We’re all born where we are born by accident of birth. Russia is becoming an increasingly oppressive dictatorship and if someone wants to leave there because they don’t like Putin and what the country is, they have just as much right to leave if they can. We would never tell someone trying to escape any other oppressive dictatorship they can’t leave because their leader is a horrible human and tough luck they happened to be born there, they should have chosen to be born to a set of parents living elsewhere in the world.

The world is a big place. We can find homes for refugee Ukrainians and Russian people who want to flee an oppressive dictator. They’re all victims of the same man.
 

manhn

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There are refugees from other countries too. A lot of Afghanistan immigration applicants in Canada have expressed frustration that they have been disregarded due to the attention placed on Ukraine. Priorities sometime have to be placed.
 

Hedwig

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We’re all born where we are born by accident of birth. Russia is becoming an increasingly oppressive dictatorship and if someone wants to leave there because they don’t like Putin and what the country is, they have just as much right to leave if they can. We would never tell someone trying to escape any other oppressive dictatorship they can’t leave because their leader is a horrible human and tough luck they happened to be born there, they should have chosen to be born to a set of parents living elsewhere in the world.

The world is a big place. We can find homes for refugee Ukrainians and Russian people who want to flee an oppressive dictator. They’re all victims of the same man.
I understand and actually support that they want to flee. But there are people saying that there will be 5 Mio refugees in the next few weeks from Ukraine. I really worry about the logistics of this if we add in 500k Russian refugees as well. (this is not a number I read somewhere, just off the top of my head).

but like Tanya said, at the moment they are probably not refugees in the sense that they are fleeing to the same refugee camps and need to be found a place there because I really fear that, for instance, Poland will be totally overwhelmed soon. They are doing a great job at the moment, something I honestly had not expected from Poland, but it is a relatively small country and it can only do so much. (not like the UK who granted like 50 visa in the last two weeks btw....)

If you ever worked with refugees you know that in the longer run it is not just providing first aid, some food and a bed - it is not really possible to keep families in tent cities for months on end.

I worry a bit about how the reactions will be when all the usual difficulties will start and I do hope that the majority of people in any one country who are taking up refugees will stand strong even when it starts getting more difficult.
 

aka_gerbil

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My best friend’s wife’s niece’s husband came to the US as a child refugee from Afghanistan, so I’ve been part of many conversations in which he first hand explained the struggles his family went through.

The Russians fleeing seem to have the means to navigate on their own and are very unlikely to land in the same places or need the same help as the Ukrainian refugees. It sounds like those who are getting out of Russia just need to get over the border and then can get themselves to elsewhere.

Dealing with the Ukrainian refugees shouldn’t just be falling mostly on Poland. Like I said, the world is a big place and there is room for everyone somewhere. More counties just need to step up.

My general observation, at least as a US citizen, the reluctance to help refugees and others fleeing bad places isn’t really about space or resources, but about rampant racism and intolerance of other cultures instead.
 

Miezekatze

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I'd also guess most Russians who are leaving are people who have opportunities for working abroad, because otherwise they'd have to go through the asylum process and actually qualify for asylum and I guess that's not THAT easy to achieve, at least not for masses of regular people, even with Russia becoming a more clear dictatorship.
 

Hedwig

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I'd also guess most Russians who are leaving are people who have opportunities for working abroad, because otherwise they'd have to go through the asylum process and actually qualify for asylum and I guess that's not THAT easy to achieve, at least not for masses of regular people, even with Russia becoming a more clear dictatorship.
That is true.
 

Elka

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E.g. those people taking the train from StPetersburg to Finland were mostly going back abroad where they lived. Or had relatives and a place to go to. I would not think it to be possible for Poland to take any Russian refugees.
 

Hedwig

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My general observation, at least as a US citizen, the reluctance to help refugees and others fleeing bad places isn’t really about space or resources, but about rampant racism and intolerance of other cultures instead.
that is a bit oversimplistic. I think it is with a lot of people but there are real struggles in taking in masses of refugees at the same time. Especially traumatized people, children who need to learn a new language, who need schools - this is not done in a matter of weeks and the more there are, the more difficult it gets.

I am hopeful that most countries in the EU have said that they will welcome Ukrainian refugees but even the "distribution" (this sound so cold but that is what it is) will be a logistic struggle of dimensions we rarely had before.
 

Trillian

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My general observation, at least as a US citizen, the reluctance to help refugees and others fleeing bad places isn’t really about space or resources, but about rampant racism and intolerance of other cultures instead.

This is true in much the EU as well. There’s already been a lot written about how Poland has treated Ukrainian refugees compared to refugees from countries like Syria and Afghanistan attempting to enter the country through Belarus. Not to mention the experiences of people of color attempting to leave Ukraine over the last few weeks.

Yes, there are logistical challenges, but realistically, many countries in the world are a lot more willing to try to solve those logistical challenges for some groups of refugees than others.
 

aka_gerbil

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I know there are real struggles and real obstacles, but you can’t even start to address those needs when you have a large number of people who don’t even see those seeking refuge as being real humans. I grew up in the rural US South and the way people speak about people from other places and cultures is abhorrent. The county I grew up in had a group of Somali refugees and there were a lot of people who could have helped but didn’t because of where they were from and the color of their skin. The community most certainly had the resources to help, but so much of it was withheld.
 

Hedwig

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yes, I know 😢

My husband give unsalaried chess training to kids and he was told once by a fellow chess trainer that it is easy to get donations from enterprises because most like to give donations to worthy causes and it is always good to say as an enterprise that you are sponsoring children.
Just never ever say that you are training refugees then all donations will stop :eek:

He was so infuriated by this that now he mostly trains kids that are living in refugee home here in our home town.
 

TAHbKA

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I understand and actually support that they want to flee. But there are people saying that there will be 5 Mio refugees in the next few weeks from Ukraine. I really worry about the logistics of this if we add in 500k Russian refugees as well. (this is not a number I read somewhere, just off the top of my head).

but like Tanya said, at the moment they are probably not refugees in the sense that they are fleeing to the same refugee camps and need to be found a place there
I'll repeat, ok? They are NOT refugees. They are NOT coming to the refugee camps. They are NOT using these resources.

I'll explain in more details and will add what you SHOULD be worried about with Europe being flooded by the well educated Russians below.

The Ukrainians refugees are leaving by land - they are coming by trains to Poland/Hungary/Slovakia/Moldova/Romania. The Russians can't get on these trains because duuh, it's from Ukraine and not Russia.

They also can't get on the trains from Russia because while the whole world might have missed it, but Russians have not been allowed to leave Russia by land since 3/2020 because the Russian government decided so. When we all opened up and the tourism resumed Russia did not join the club (there are exceptions, and those who figured out how to use these exceptions are smart enough to figure how to get by without the refugee resources. At any rate, these people would end up in Finland, with all the appropriate documents and not in Poland/Germany).

The only way for the Russians to leave Russia is to take a plane. Now in order to board that plane they need
  • a Schengen visa (something that is expensive and was not issued much since duuh, 3/2020)
  • a valid сovid vaccine certificate (the valid vaccines are the ones recognized by WHO, which is not Sputnik). I.e. they had to be in Europe at some point after 2/2021 to get that vaccine. And may be twice, I think, the booster is also required
  • gather all the documents, all the paperwork and figure how to get on the plane. Now you mention 500K people - am not sure that number is correct, but let us assume it is - 500K people trying to get out from the same 2-3 airports - the foreign companies are no longer flying to Russia (except for ElAl and I can't begin to tell how ashamed I am of that company), the Aeroflot is not really flying either. I.e. those 500K people have to buy the flight tickets, which are dead expensive and there aren't many.
Do you really believe people who can figure all these things out to fly out of Russia will go to Poland? I doubt. I reckon they would go somewhere better, perhaps indeed Germany.
Now the people who were able to figure all the things above, are rich enough to buy all the things above - what kind of life do you think they led in Russia? Do you reckon they were the simple factory workers who were hardly making the ends meet? Well, no, they were the higher tear and may be, just may be, the middle class. Do you think these people would drop everything they have to move to a refugee camp? Unlike the Ukrainians they were not bombed, their houses are not ruined and their lives are not in an immediate danger (let's assume they would not go to a demonstration and thus would not get arrested). Why would these people even want to be in a refugee camp? To get a free meal? Seriously?

Now what I would be worried about if I were you is keeping your job. When Europe gets flooded by the very educated, very smart and very cheap people it will be hard. It is what happened in Israel in the 90s with the huge immigration from the USSR Jews - they pretty much overtook a lot of jobs from the locals because they were better, smarter and cheaper.

I understand where your worry is coming from - Germany is known for being notoriously bad in differentiating between the people from the different countries and there are more than enough stories about people coming as if refugees from Syria only to find out they are not refugees, they are not from Syria and just used it as a simple way to get to Europe and improve their lives. It's not the case of these Russians. They are leaving because of their conscience does not allow them to stay in Russia. The same conscience that would not let them go to the refugee camps and take from the Ukrainians who are there.
 

TAHbKA

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Dealing with the Ukrainian refugees shouldn’t just be falling mostly on Poland. Like I said, the world is a big place and there is room for everyone somewhere. More counties just need to step up.
And they do, just that right now the Ukrainians can only get to Poland/Moldova/Hungary and Slovakia. Those are their borders. Poland is the easiest solution as the language is the closest/easiest, the border is longer and there are probably more trains. @Hedwig is writing about Germany and she is 100% right - a friend in Dortmund had been doing nothing but working with the Ukrainian refugees for the last week. Am sure it's the story of most of the cities in Germany right now.
My general observation, at least as a US citizen, the reluctance to help refugees and others fleeing bad places isn’t really about space or resources, but about rampant racism and intolerance of other cultures instead.
I think you are right in general, however, it does not really apply to the Ukrainians - they are equally white, they are equally Christian and their culture is hardly different from the Polish, for example. Of course it's not the case for a refugee from, say, Somali or Syria, just like you wrote.
 

Miezekatze

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I think the structures for taking refugees here in Germany are still pretty good though, due to the crisis in 2015. At least I think we do better than UK ;)

Here in my state they are mostly reactivating the refugee "first arrival" venues from the 2015 crisis right now. Some of them were always operating anyway, others are reopened. Ukrainians are arriving, but so far theres still capacity. I read also hotels and gyms might be used if the capacity runs out.

There was a refugee camp in my street opposite of my flat in 2015 for about a year, in an old unused gym.
This hasn't been reactivated yet, but I guess it might be too. Many of the Syrian refugees who lived there in 2015 are still living in my rural village btw. Sometimes I think integration even works better in villages, than in big towns.
 

aka_gerbil

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I think you are right in general, however, it does not really apply to the Ukrainians - they are equally white, they are equally Christian and their culture is hardly different from the Polish, for example. Of course it's not the case for a refugee from, say, Somali or Syria, just like you wrote.
Correct. The Facebook pages of the very same people back home who refused to help (and worse) when it came to the Somali refugees are now filled with prayers and request for help for Ukrainians. (These people are also against those from the Middle East and Asia.)

Most of the people around when I was little who were derogatory towards people from Eastern Europe have died from old age now. The South is special like that—they at times have shown prejudice against various European ethnicities and non Protestant religions. They struggled to accept Catholics and Jewish people. I don’t think Orthodoxy would have gone over any better.
 

Scott512

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We will see what happens. But I'm not sure if active Russian figure skaters are pro Putin in this invasion of Ukraine. I would think they would all be against it. I'm sure the Russian figure skaters under the age of 25 are 35 are devastated by this. Probably some of them will leave Russia in the coming years it's their right it's their freedom.
Again… not that easy. Most countries have a path to citizenship that takes years; most also have requirements that include residing within the country, learning the national language, etc. Georgia is one of a small handful of ISU member countries that have a relatively flexible citizenship process, and they’re not going to take every single Russian skater.

Plus, the longer the current situation continues, the less likely training in Russia is going to be a good option for skaters that represent other countries. Even if they manage to maintain a high level infrastructure, traveling abroad won’t be easy and coaches may or may not be able to travel with them. Personally, I’m expecting the Georgian skaters to make long-term plans to train elsewhere if they plan to continue.
Nastia is certainly lucky in her situation to have dual citizenship be able to represent Georgia and still train and lived in Russia.

I understand citizenship usually takes many years but sometimes things are different maybe in the sports world and you can get there faster like she did.

I think it's OK for an athlete to take advantage of an opportunity to continue their career and their dream. Now will Russia ask nastia to stop training in Saint Petersburg and go to Georgia instead after this season? It's possible we just have to let it play out. They may be better than one of their athletes that they trained for he trained for well over 10 years is going to the Olympics and the Olympics and worlds for another country while living and training in Russia. Maria Talalakina has transferred to Italy and has moved there.
 
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Trillian

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Correct. The Facebook pages of the very same people back home who refused to help (and worse) when it came to the Somali refugees are now filled with prayers and request for help for Ukrainians. (These people are also against those from the Middle East and Asia.)

I live in an area of the U.S. with a large Hmong and Hmong-American population (that is otherwise majority white and very racially segregated). I agree that there is absolutely a very different attitude toward non-white and Muslim refugees, and it’s well-documented that this is true in many parts of Europe as well.

(Fwiw, one writer I really admire who has written extensively on refugee experiences in the U.S. is the Hmong-American writer Kao Kalia Yang. Can’t recommend her books enough.)
 

Karen-W

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Sylvia

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He has left Moscow as of about 40 minutes ago per his Instagram stories. On an Emirates flight to Dubai with the caption ‘where to next?’
Harley Windsor’s latest Instagram stories include one from Phuket, Thailand - maybe he’s on vacation now? ETA: Or headed back home?
 
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