“Russian Tea Party” with Mariia, Boris, Ivan, and Vladimir
Sat, Feb 04, 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

RECEPTION / PARTY

Bushel and Delaware County Citizens for Refugee Support (DCCRS) are pleased to invite you to a tea party to get to know Mariia, Boris, Ivan, and Vladimir, four Russian dissidents who are seeking asylum in Delaware County. Come and get acquainted with our new friends, hear their stories, and understand their current situations and ongoing challenges. Volunteers will also speak about how this community has come together in this resettlement effort and what more we all can do. This event is free and open to the public. Masks are optional; please remain home if you are feeling ill.

Tea service begins at 2 pm. At 2:20 pm we will have a conversation with Mariia, Boris, Ivan, and Vladimir, followed by a few words by DCCRS volunteers Hall Willkie and Hannah Leighton, among others, and will conclude with a community Q&A and discussion.

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About Mariia, Boris, Ivan, and Vladimir: First to arrive in Delaware County, Mariia and Boris are Russian medical doctors and anti-war activists. They supported Alexei Navalny’s opposition to the Putin regime and campaigned against the Russian invasion of Ukraine. After constant harassment by Russian police, they fled to the US in April 2022 and requested political asylum. They ended up at a privately run detention camp in Louisiana, where they endured horrific mistreatment including limited drinking water, substandard meals, and overcrowded and unsafe living conditions. With the support of our community, DCCRS was able to pay a bond to secure their release, and bring them here to Delaware County. Recently, Boris’s cellmates Ivan and Vladimir, both anti-war activists as well, were released from detention and joined Mariia and Boris to begin their new lives here in the US. Ivan was jailed four times in Russia for participating in anti-Putin protests. Vladimir fled Russia after his life was threatened by Chechen security forces, leaving behind his wife and two young sons. While in ICE detention, Ivan and Vladimir joined Boris in a hunger strike to protest the appalling conditions in the facility.

About DCCRS: Delaware County Citizens for Refugee Support was formed in 2021 by Delaware County residents Dan Gashler, Esther Lee, Sangeeta Pratap, and Mina Takahashi. This group seeks to assist refugees and asylum seekers through direct support for resettlement in Delaware County and partnerships with individuals and community groups to advocate for the human rights and freedoms of all displaced people. www.delcocrs.org