The decision to leave Moscow was emotional, Ivan says. The first few days after the outbreak of war he describes as terrified.
"No one knew what was going to happen. We expected the borders to close and for everyone to be called to war.
Three days later, Ivan got on a plane to Egypt. He then travelled around eastern Europe before finally ending up in Berlin where he got a job as an engineer specializing in machine learning. Most people he knows have made similar trips during the year, he says.
"The majority of my friends and former colleagues are not in Russia anymore.
Recruiters at the university
The decision was based on a concern about how life in Russia would change. Ivan knows that his skills are sought after in the armed forces. During his studies at Moscow University, the military was constantly present, he says.
"There were definitely attempts by special forces to recruit us. We listened to lectures where they tried to persuade us about how cool it is to work with military technology.
However, the response from the students was weak. At first, it was poorly paid. For many, it was also crucial that employees in the defense sector cannot go in and out of Russia as they please, Ivan explains.
"In addition, they work with old technology. The atmosphere was very Soviet, with old men behaving like they live in the 80s.
No plans to return
The departure of engineers like Ivan poses a big problem for Russia. The government is therefore preparing specific laws to lure them back, Reuters reports. Among other things, sharp tax increases are planned for employees of Russian companies working remotely.
For Ivan, however, there is only one thing that would make him even think about returning: A new government.
Ivan compares Putin's regime to a hydra – hear him narrate in the clip above.
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The lack of information technology specialists makes Russia increasingly inclined to seek new allies, according to Vendil Pallin. Hear the expert on how the country can try to make up for the losses in the clip. Photo: AP/TT & Filip Brusman