Local Russians, Belarusians helping Russian refugees stranded at border

Posted at 5:17 PM, Mar 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-18 20:17:18-04

SAN YSIDRO, Calif. (KGTV) — Some Russians who are against the war with Ukraine are fleeing their country.

Members of the Facebook Group "Russian San Diego" are helping Russians seeking asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border.

"They're scared and they're confused and of course, they're outside," said Olga Scorobogataya.

Olga said there are a few dozen Russian refugees, including children, stranded at the Tijuana-San Ysidro Port of Entry.

"They're in this dirty corner, on the ground," she said.

Olga, who's Belarusian, said local organizations and Mexican churches have been providing food and water to the migrants.

She visited the refugees on Thursday and brought Russian treats and activities for the children.

"My sister's an artist and so she donated her pencils and sketchbooks for the kids," Scorobogataya said.

But more than anything, Scorobogataya said, she wanted to provide moral support.

"We wanted to hear their stories, to talk to them, to just give hugs and listen," she said.

Scorobogataya said the people she spoke with say they're ashamed of Putin's actions and are against the war with Ukraine.

Some fled out of fear of retaliation.

"They're all talking about that iron curtain that is yet again closing on their whole region, including Belarus unfortunately," Scorobogataya said.

She believes they deserve support as they leave everything behind for a better future.

"Even though they're Russians, it's doesn't mean they are bad people and I hope everybody understands that," Scorobogataya said.

The Facebook group is asking for donations of blankets, chairs, and other necessities for the refugees.

Scorobogataya works for the Church of Music. You can contact the organization, for more information on how to help.