Russian musician turns to east after war broke out
He was paying a visit to a friend in Turkey’s southwestern resort town of Bodrum when Russian troops entered into Ukrainian territories on Feb. 24.
“Then, I decided to hitchhike through other countries instead of returning to my country. I am planning to move from the west of Turkey toward the east before traveling through Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan,” he said.
After spending three days in Eskişehir, he was impressed by the smiling faces and the young population, he added.
“As Russians, we tend to think that Turkey consists of the seaside resorts and coastal areas, but there are many various mountains, plains and villages here. Turks are really very helpful people. When I play the guitar, they approach me to ask if I’m hungry. That’s not something you can experience in Russia,” Reznichenko said.
He had started hitchhiking inside Russia upon his graduation from the university, and he did it again in the first days of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He is more interested in other cultures than those in Europe because the European way of living is pretty much similar to the Russian culture, he underlined.
“For me, Asia is more interesting because the religious structure and the culture are different and people are more hospitable. I’m trying to have good memories of these differences. I would like to climb up to the mountains, live internet-free and speak with ordinary people.”
Some 14,000 Russians have fled to Turkey in just three weeks after the conflict in Ukraine broke out because of what they describe as deteriorating conditions in their country, while more than 49,000 Ukrainians have also arrived in Turkey.
Among those Russians, who left their country, are anti-war bloggers, journalists, businesspeople, academics and activists.
Russian and Ukrainian citizens are not required to have a visa to enter Turkey and can stay for up to three months in the country.
Russian hip-hop artist Miron Yanovich Fyodorov, who is known by his stage name Oxxxymiron, performed the first of his “Russians Against War” concerts in Istanbul’s famous district Kadıköy on March 15. The other two concerts were held in London and Berlin.
The proceeds from the concerts would be donated to nongovernmental organizations helping Ukrainian refugees, he announced. Some $30,000 were collected at the Istanbul concert, he said.
There was a long line in front of the venue, Kadıköy Sahne, where a few hundred people, mostly members of the Russian diaspora, chanted anti-war slogans, according to local media. The Istanbul concert was watched by around 40,000 people online.
Millions of Russians are against the Ukrainian war, but “it’s impossible to hold an anti-war concert in Russia nowadays,” he said.