'Putin is not Russia': People fleeing Russia react to the invasion of Ukraine

As the world reacts in horror to Putin's invasion on Ukraine, many Russians have also spoken out against the war.

As the invasion entered its seventh day, Ukraine's State Emergency Service said 2,000 civilians have died in a week of war with Russia, though independent confirmation is not possible - and many more have fled the country.

Escaping Putin's authoritarian grip is all too familiar for Ramazan Paizov.

An opposition activist, he now lives in Darlington after fleeing Russia in 2019.

Ramazan said: "I was arrested many times. The last time they arrest me, they took my passport and said 'you have to stop your activism, otherwise your passport could be fake'.

"It was like hint. You have to stop. Otherwise you go to jail.

"They came over, six in the morning to my parents' house, searching for me.

"It was like 10 to 15 people, full on ammunition, and my father called me and said, 'you have to leave as soon as possible."

Footage of Ramazan being arrested

Despite understanding the mindset of Putin, the Ukrainian invasion still took Ramazan by surprise.

"I was shocked. I didn't expect it. I thought he is absolutely mad.

"Ukrainians do very well. I'm proud of them, and I call all Western countries to help them, not only with sanctions against Putin, but with weapons because they need it."

One message he wants to get across is that this war is not in his name."I felt like, Oh my God, what am I going to do now? Because I'm from Russia and people might be like, hate Russians then....I felt like, Oh my God, that's just like the finish off my life and Russians will be punished everywhere around the world.

"But thank God people understand that Putin is not Russia. Russia is not Putin at all. Russians don't want the war."