Meet the Ukrainian ballerina who quit Russia

STORY: This ballerina decided to leave Moscow when the war in Ukraine began

Laura Fernandez was born in Switzerland to a Ukrainian mother

She used to dance at Moscow’s Stanislavsky Theatre

[Laura Fernandez/ Ballerina]

"I left because it was morally just very difficult for me to live there because I knew what (Russian President Vladimir) Putin was doing to my family in Ukraine. I mean our family in Mariupol, we lost everything: two, no three apartments. My family had to leave the country without anything. They didn't have anything; they couldn’t take anything. Only passports and that's it."

She’s now dances with the State Ballet of Georgia in Tbilisi

‘’On the one hand, it was easy to leave Russia but, on the other hand, it was also very difficult, because leaving behind my whole life, kind of... I mean, it felt like that because I built up my life there for seven years already; I had my friends, and I had my routines, and just to leave like this… and it was like this (SNAPS FINGERS), you know. I had to decide, like, in two days. I just packed everything in one day – kind of my whole life.’’

"Well, honestly, I always live in the moment (LAUGHS), and I never really think about the future, though maybe I should really. But for the moment, I really enjoy my life here and I enjoy everything about Tbilisi, about the Opera, the repertoire, and I'm really happy now here.’’

Fernandez hasn't given up hope of returning to Moscow one day

"So, I'm not against Russia: I love Russia, I love Moscow. I also have some great friends in Moscow, and I really enjoyed my life there. But, at the moment I am just not ready yet to go back."