The film ‘Terminal’ in reality: Russians live in the airport because of the coronavirus

Russian Mikhail Novoselov came to study in Germany, but the German border guards refused him entry because of the pandemic coronavirus. Now he lives in the transit area of the Frankfurt airport. About it writes DW.

Фильм 'Терминал' в реальности: россиянин живет в аэропорту из-за коронавируса

Photo: Shutterstock

Mikhail Novoselov arrived in Germany for one semester on exchange at Berlin’s Humboldt University, however, the German Federal police, performing the functions of the border service refused him entry because of the lack of “compelling reason”. The man fell under the ban on entry to EU citizens in third countries, imposed in connection with the pandemic coronavirus.

Embassy of Germany built the list of those wishing to leave Russia and told them about the extraordinary flight from Moscow to Frankfurt. On Friday, April 17, he was taken to Germany 133. More than 100 people in a similar situation are still in Russia, some separated from their families, someone out of money.

Among arrived on Friday in Germany was 23-year-old Mikhail Novoselov. He became the only passengers on that flight who refused entry. German police found that he has no “immediate reason” for entry. Due to the lack of return flights, he was trapped in the international zone of the airport since actually lives there.

“We really wanted to get to Germany”

Michael said that soon finishes his master’s degree at the Institute in Tomsk, where he studied in sociology. He wanted to get to Germany right now because it was the “last opportunity” to learn exchange abroad prior to graduation in Russia. Michael had one semester to become a student at Berlin Humboldt University.

Troubles, the young man began a month ago. On March 20, he flew to Berlin, where he was denied entry the first time. According to Michael, the guards did not like the lack of housing in Berlin despite the fact that his check in to the student accommodation was “already agreed upon, and the administration waited for him to enter into a contract”.

Decided to try your luck

In the end, Michael had to return to Russia for almost a month he spent in Moscow, but on 17 April he decided to try his luck. WhatsApp-chat “Return” (hosted by stuck in Russia, residents of Germany with passports of the Russian Federation) he’s “happy accident” found out about a special flight to Frankfurt, and bought a ticket.

He contacted the Embassy, where he confirmed that his national visa is sufficient for entry into Germany (along with citizenship, temporary or permanent residence permit). However, according to German law the final decision on entry into the country taking border service.

What is the position of the German authorities?

The refusal of the Federal police of Germany, issued to Michael, indicated that currently, his stay in Germany is “a significant threat to the public interest could threaten the health of the population.”

The police refers to the imposed by the EU on 17 March due to pandemic coronavirus ban on the entry of nationals from third countries without a visa. Specifically, in Michael’s case “was not set forth an urgent, much-needed reason for entry”. It should be noted that, although officially the summer semester at Humboldt University begins April 20 until all classes are online, and when they will resume the building of the University is unclear.

All other passengers were allowed to enter, including those who like Michael came first at the national visa. However, in their case it is called a “fiance visa”.

The remake of the movie “the Terminal” in reality

After Michael departed from the first shock, he began to arrange his life in the airport. The first thing he came to the aid of a Lufthansa employee who is “just passing through”. In the end, the unknown man listened to Michael, agreed that he was given a cot. Michael is sleeping in the common transit area of the airport. Employees bring him food and drink.

“They even asked me if I had any allergies, found out about my food preferences. Everything is arranged at the highest level”, — said Mikhail. Also he was given a pass for the shower, two days later, he was the first to take a shower. The suitcase he has not yet returned.

Basically, Michael spends time alone and walks through the unusually deserted Frankfurt airport. Sometimes he manages to communicate with is rare in pandemic conditions by passengers. For example, he spoke about the three citizens of Bulgaria, which is also not allowed in Germany.

A young man with active support from the friends and other participants of a chat “the Return” — they are worried and constantly asking what is happening with him. Also Michael several times a day to report to the police, his passport remains in police custody, in return he was given “transit passport”.

Waiting for return flight

What’s next? Michael is waiting for the return flight to Moscow, however, now they are extremely rare, and how much he still have to live at the airport, is unclear. According to him, the border guards consider the possibility to send it to Minsk, that young man seems doubtful. “It is unclear where I will be isolated there and how will go to Russia under the condition of closed borders,” he added.

However, Michael still hopes to get to Germany: he wants to try to register in Berlin using the online service, which, he believes, will become an argument in dialogue with the border guards. Also, Michael found through a friend of a lawyer in Frankfurt who is now studying his papers.

Michael does not agree with what is some kind of threat to the health of other people, is willing to provide tested negative for the coronavirus from Moscow, Kommunarka and even “re-take the test in Germany if he was given such an opportunity.”

“I’m ready to isolate themselves in the Dorm for two weeks, if I’m allowed into the country,” said Michael.

The man admits that was the risk when for the second time flew to Germany. However, it was done consciously, “I didn’t know when I will have more opportunities to get to Germany. Visa could end, and new are not given. So I decided to take the risk.”

The evening of April 19 began the third day of his residence at the airport.



Our people

Special projects