Serhey Filonenko, Buddhist monk:
“Everything that happened is connected with the Donbas and with war. Everything has started from there. I am from Donetsk, for example.”
Yet their arrival has not been welcomed by all locals. Buddhist Vasyl Nastyuk believes that the village residents need time to get used to their new neighbors.
Vasyl Nastyuk, Buddhist monk:
“Locals do not understand us because they think very superficially about things like faith. They do not perceive us well because they think it is something totally different.”
Meanwhile, local resident Ivan Bondarik is happy to see new faces arrive in the village. He also says many people have left the village for a better life elsewhere.
Ivan Bondaryk, Kryvopillia local resident:
“They have bought the house. I’m happy they have come here. Not many residents remain in the village, earlier there were 12 houses, now only four.”
The group of Buddhists is hoping that, in time, locals may begin to accept their presence in these quiet snowy mountains.