If I ever return to Crimea, it will only be as a part of a subversive group and with a Kalashnikov automatic.
Since November, Kyiv has actually become my second home. I was born in Yevpatoriya, and now I cannot go home.
I am a medical worker and I work in the medical service of Maidan. Starting on November 28, I was in Kyiv at Student Maidan. During the crackdown, I got my ribs broken and I also got a head injury. I was taken home.
On February 20, I received a call and was told that Maidan needed doctors and was asked to come. After that I immediately went to Kyiv and have been here to this day.
On March 15, I went to Crimea as a part of a mobile medical team. Our purpose was to assist the military on the peninsula. Our trip was organized by the Ministry of Health and the Red Cross. We only carried pharmaceuticals. However, we were not allowed to enter Crimea. We were beaten up; our money was taken, and so were our cell phones and valuables. It is true that we got our passports back in the end, but we were also told that we would not be allowed to enter Crimea any more.
This is how I got onto the Russian Federation’s blacklist. I was most struck by the fact that the Berkut officers at the Russian border in Crimea were the same ones who were in Kyiv. And I’m sure they beat us so severely just because they recognized us. Now if I go back to Crimea, it will only be as a part of a subversive group and with a Kalashnikov automatic.
Besides being a doctor, I am also a mother. I have a three-year-old son who was with my grandmother in Yevpatoriya all this time. I was afraid that it would be much more difficult to take the child across the border later, so on February 22 I wrote a statement addressed to the commandant of Maidan asking for help. However, I never got the help. Still, our medical service allocated 2000 UAH, which I sent to my mother to cover the travel costs. On April 1 my mom brought my son to Kyiv. Now my child is with me. At the moment I am thinking of moving to Lviv and finding a job. I was promised some funds to cover the travel expenses and living expenses for the short term.
My parents and grandmother have stayed in Crimea. They did not get their Russian passports and are not going to because they are not willing to live in Russia. However, they are not willing to leave their land and the house where their children grew up. My grandmother was once deported and will not flee again. She is ready to fight, but wants to die on her native soil.
Source: Odna Kraina
Translated by Halyna Kaluzhna, edited by Robin Rohrback