Helping a large family of political refugees move their dog to Poland

  • Story

My name is Igor.

In January 2024, my wife and I and our three minor children (2, 5 and 9 years old) moved for the second time, now to Poland. Previously we were in Tbilisi, where we left in December 2021, after a search in my apartment and an attempted arrest in Belarus.

The first time I encountered police violence was in 2020. I was standing in a solidarity chain outside the BSU Lyceum and giving an interview to TUT.BY journalists. At that moment the police arrived and started to detain everyone, and I managed to escape by a miracle.

I had a sticker with Pahonia on my car until October 2020. I was pulled over on an APB, questioned and given a ticket. Since the car was not registered to me personally, but to a legal entity, the police warned me that I would not get away with a fine and that my company would be in trouble.

In 2021, I was summoned for a “conversation” as a witness regarding comments about a riot policeman that someone had written a year earlier. I went to the talk with an attorney. When we came out, the lawyer advised us to prepare to evacuate and was right.

On December 14, 2021, officers of the State Department of State Security and Police burst into our apartment with a search. Fortunately, they did not catch me at home — at that moment I was at work. So, without returning home from work, I left for Georgia the same evening.

At first we lived on the help of friends, and then I started my own business — a co-working space. At first things were going well, and we were able to support ourselves fully. Malanka even made a video about us. However, after a while people started leaving Tbilisi, and there were fewer and fewer clients. There were difficulties with legalization. And we decided that there was no point in staying in Georgia and we needed to move on, for example to Poland, where my wife and I could find a stable income.

Both the emergency departure to Georgia and the second, well-considered and balanced departure to Poland cost us a lot of money. We saved as much as we could, and we very much expect that in Poland we will be able to establish a normal life after so many months of wandering. But unfortunately, we did fall into a financial trap.

We have a dog named Oti. She's been living with us for 10 years. According to EU laws, the animal had to be tested for rabies and then wait another 90 days. But the plans for the move pressed us, so we left without a dog. But our Oti is absolutely a full-fledged member of the family. Later, when the quarantine was over, we had to borrow money to move Oti from Tbilisi to Wroclaw. But these expenses were unplanned for us, and I ask for your help.

Starting life in a new country from scratch is very difficult. And it is doubly difficult to get out of the disadvantage we have gone into. We will be very grateful for any help to get our reunited family of many children back on their feet.

How much is needed?


€114 — airplane ticket Wroclaw-Kutaisi (500 zl)
€10 — bus ticket Kutaisi-Tbilisi (25 lari) 
€100 (5*20) — accommodation in Tbilisi for the period of export documents processing  
€112 — cage for transportation of animals (489 zl)
€18 — veterinary clinic certificate (50 lari)
€69 — export certificate (200 lari)
€152 — Tbilisi-Warsaw ticket (665 zl)
€150 — dog ticket
€23 — train Warsaw-Wrocław (100 zl)

The collection is over. Сollected:
€ 748
The collection is over. Сollected: € 748