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Bibliophile | ‘Run For Your Life’ explores family’s escape from Russia

Run For Your Life
Sue Williams
Simon & Schuster

UK construction worker Nick Stride was estranged from his wife and two children, and had almost lost his will to live when he was offered a job in Russia. He accepted, desperate for a new start and the chance to earn good money.

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Nick arrived in Moscow in March 1998 with seventeen other workers and they were given the task of building a new British Embassy. The workers were instructed not to socialize with the Russian people as they might be approached by spies to leak information.

Six months later, the Russian ruble became worthless overnight, winter was setting in and there were problems with the contracting company. Nick decided it was time to leave, but he had started a relationship with a Russian woman.

Given the difficulties involved in getting out of Russia and moving to the UK, I was surprised to read that, after having two children together in the UK, the couple returned to Russia to live.

Nick worked on other building projects, including one for Vladimir Putin’s one-time deputy – where he came across some documents and passed them on to American journalist Michael Weiss.

This is when the real dramas begin. Award-winning journalist Sue Williams writes how Nick and his family managed to escape to Australia but were denied residency. Multiple applications were turned down. Nick and the children were told to return to the UK and Luda had to go back to Russia.

In 2014, they headed north from Bunbury, where they had been living, towards an unknown destination and an unknown future. Spending 8 years on the run, off the grid in the remotest parts of Northern Australia, took its toll on the family. It was not until 2022 that Nick and his two children were given residency in New Zealand.

Sue Williams writes about their life on the run and also interviews experts about the 2,700 plus pages of laws and regulations of Australia’s Migration Act, the strict guidelines and the stuff-ups that put people in limbo and in danger.

Lezly Herbert

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