Kyrylo, OUN (Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists) battalion, 22 y.o.
–Why did you leave your home to risk your life in Donbas?
Because I love my motherland, because I want Ukraine to be united and independent, because the phrase “Ukraine for Ukrainians” is not empty words for me, because we have to be masters of our own land, because I was born in Odesa [South Ukraine] and my relatives live there, and I don’t want to cross the border to visit them. Because I don’t want to live how Russians live in Russia now. Because Moscow has always been an enemy of the Ukrainian nation and we have a unique opportunity to pay off for all the sufferings that our people have lived through due to Russian imperialism. Because I would be ashamed to sit at home, I wouldn’t forgive myself, as I am a man. Because my friends are fighting there and I need to cover their backs. I want my future child and wife, when I will have them, to be proud of me. When I was still training I was ashamed to talk with girls and with my friends – I did not know how to explain to them why people are dying in the East and I am still sitting in Kyiv, alive and well.
Kyrylo studied telecommunications, wanted to be a programmer. Before the start of the Euromaidan revolution he coordinated the movement “Kyiv Donor” that searched for blood donors in Ukraine’s capital, organized community clean-up actions.
Friend Japanese*, Right Sector battalion
–Who is a Ukrainian nationalist?
A Ukrainian nationalist is a person that wants prosperity for the Ukrainian nation, but in order to be a Ukrainian you don’t have to be born as one, you have to feel yourself as one. You have to be one in your soul and heart. A nation is made up of the people around us that say “yes, I am a Ukrainian! And I want to live here and I will not leave.” All the members of the Right Sector think like that, and that’s why we’re here. That’s why we won’t give up a piece of our land. It’s our land. And there are people there [in the occupied territories] that believe in us and are waiting for us to liberate them.
–Russian media paints a different picture of Ukrainian nationalists, calling you “Right sector fascists.”
There is a joke about that. [Leader of the Right Sector Dmytro] Yarosh said once that after watching Russian TV he started being afraid of the Right Sector himself.
*Friend+callsign is the way to address members of the Right Sector battalion. Header image – Right Sector battalion[hr]Interview by Alya Shandra