Tickets for trains to Helsinki and cars and SUVs queuing at the crossing with Finland are not available. Among the bourgeois and world elites there are those who prefer to leave the country, and they explain: «Russia? The outside world is more important.”
Who sent us
Moscow – Where does this Allegro train leave. Night conversation in a hotel bar in the center of the capital. Andrey and Kira, husband and wife, both graduates, both have visas and have done well in a foreign multinational company specializing in technology research. On the second floor, their only daughter, Tatiana, 11, sleeps. He has tickets and travel plans on hand. They come from Rubiliovka, a village on the northwestern outskirts of Moscow whose name is synonymous with substandard luxury among the oligarchic villas and luxury condominiums where “Westerners” live, who travel, work and perhaps even get paid. abroad.
The road to Finland
“Get up early tomorrow morning,” he says. With an expression that is nothing but happiness. They will reach the first Moscow – Saint Petersburg, three hours and forty minutes. Then on the second and final train to Helsinki, another hour. And there they will stop. The family has visa and good salary, they can afford it. Just as I took the liberty of booking an entire package at some travel agency, only one can still guarantee a seat on the Allegro, the train whose shapes are clearly inspired by our ancient Pendolino and whose name is derived from the musical movement that signifies a sudden change of speed. “That’s what we do, everything started going so fast all of a sudden, we were surprised,” engineer Andrey sighs. “We had no other choice.”
Search for tickets
Other Russians have even fewer of them. Booking the train that will take you across the border with Finland is impossible on any search engine, the first tickets available next March 13th. In a week. Eternity. “We decided when we started talking about the application of martial law. With what is happening, the future seems uncertain to us, and we do not feel safe.” This was spring. The exile of Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, and then the Russian president himself, did not stop the constant flow of Russian passengers to Finland. “No one wants to be forced into war,” says Kira. “We’re thirty-five and thirty-seven, which is enough to remind us what life was like before. If we don’t get out, we risk losing our job and everything we’ve built over the years. We don’t deserve it.”
The bourgeoisie expatriates
It is the emigration of those who can afford it, the bourgeoisie, the civic and the global elite who fear most of all tyranny and a return to a closed world they never imagined they could return. At the Valima crossing, about two hundred kilometers east of Helsinki, cars waiting for the pass form a queue of about one kilometer long. And these are certainly not cheap cars, even here SUVs and sedans of top brands. Controls are increasingly strict. Luggage is being searched for money, because the amount allowed for those in possession of immigration documents was already very low, and the collapse of the ruble made it equal to dinner in the restaurant of any European city. Finnish media claims that more than eight thousand Russians have made this choice so far. “Just look at the number of bags they’re traveling in to understand that they won’t be back soon,” the Finnish train captain said in an interview with Euronews. Judging by the pictures coming from the border and the high prices of Allegro, it is expected that the number of those trying it will increase.
Andrei and Kira’s tea is still intact. It is the night of bad thoughts, doubts and uncertainty about the future. Their dilemma is not moral, but economic. They know that from now on it will be very difficult for their homeland. “If I feel like a bad Russian, and selfish, how is it that they left the drawing? Not at all. I’m just so scared. I think it’s time to leave. But I don’t know if I will ever be able to see my friends and relatives again, and it hurts so much” . Both leave an elderly father on this side of the border, who does not feel like accompanying them. “I understand them,” he says. “My father does not agree. To him, Russia is important. But I do not feel guilty if I say that the outside world is more important to me, because that is how I was brought up, and that is what made me study.” They both wake up. It is clear that they do not believe in a final farewell may They don’t feel ready for it.” “What will happen in the next few days? When will this all be over? She asks. Perhaps someone really knows. Anyway, I wish you a good trip, and good luck.”
Mar 5, 2022 (change on Mar 5, 2022 | 23:41)
© Reproduction reserved
“Infuriatingly humble analyst. Bacon maven. Proud food specialist. Certified reader. Avid writer. Zombie advocate. Incurable problem solver.”