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Tens of thousands of Russians have fled to Istanbul since Russia invaded Ukraine last month — outraged about what they see as a criminal war, worried about conscription or the possibility of a closed Russian border or concerned that their livelihoods are no longer viable back home.

They lined up at ATMs, desperate for cash after Visa and Mastercard suspended operations in Russia, swapping intelligence on where they could still get dollars. At Istanbul cafes, they sat quietly studying Telegram chats or Google Maps on their phones. They organized support groups to help other Russian exiles find housing.

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