Financial challenges and family links are forcing difficult decisions on many of those who left the country

“I left for Istanbul in a state of panic shortly after the war started. I thought I wouldn’t get another chance to leave, that the borders might close. I didn’t want to stay alone in the country as I saw all my friends leaving. I thought Russia was turning into North Korea,” she said.

But in Turkey her bank cards were blocked and she could not transfer money home to support her mother in Moscow. She survived by asking favours from friends who had access to funds.

© Copyright LaPresse