In September, our close friend, an artist, was detained for an art action she staged in July.
At the very beginning of October, I filmed a video which went viral. There was a lot of attention to it, I was not ready for that. My friend, who was then detained, wrote to me, asking to be more careful. It turned out that I was connected to her case! The case materials include a photo of us being present at a [protest] rally; in fact, she was tried and found guilty due to that picture. And as far as I understand, this is how it works: our law enforcers do not touch you until you are spotted somewhere two or three times. And that episode became the reason for my leaving for Kyiv together with my girlfriend and friend; I realised that if my video really got under someone's skin, they would be after me soon.
Of course, being exhausted at work, I panicked a little because of the video's reach, I did not expect that, I did not know what to do with that. I decided to de-risk myself. I took all the equipment out of my place, because I needed it to continue working on other projects; I know that when they come to arrest someone, they seize such things. I did not want to lose the works I had on the computer. Moreover, I did not want to provide them with additional reasons to accuse me of something, that is why I just carried everything away. At that moment, I started thinking about moving to another country. In particular, I went to Kyiv to see how people live there, to get information about earnings, rental costs, i.e. it was kind of a recon tour.