Masha. ‘You know you are at risk when coming on Maidan in Yalta’

Masha is one of those who were not afraid to come on Maidan in Yalta and declare their position.

We continue publishing the stories of people who represent the variety of united Ukraine within the series of articles “Together”.

Being an IDP for me means to leave a parental home for a while but with an idea that you will definitely return.

I have considered myself to be a Ukrainian since the very childhood. Although now everybody calls me a Moskovite because Russian is my mother language.

I am from Yalta, from Crimea. It's surprising that here, in Kyiv, everyone is in a hurry, everyone is running. And we have got used to work more slowly, to relax. It is neither bad nor good.

Sometimes I dream of sea, sometimes of mountains. Every day I talk to my grandmother, who stayed there. My best friend still lives in Yalta. Her family is very pro-Russian. I regret we did not take our cat with us. I was presented with it when I was three years old. He always slept with me.

Some people call the residents of Crimea and Donbas, who moved to Kyiv, traitors. It's frustrating, because if people have moved here, they are unlikely to be traitors. And not all who have stayed there are traitors.

Marek Nowitzki is the symbolic figure for me because he has always said that you should start with something small and then you can reach something global. Our group was not numerous, when we held the actions in Crimea, but we know that could result in something bigger and it always worked.

There were only twelve students at the first Maidan protest in Yalta. Of course, everybody saw us. You know you are at risk when coming on Maidan in Yalta. It is a small town, everyone knows each other and is afraid of the authorities. Professors were fired, and we were nearly expelled from the university.

It seems to me that we should live neither in the past nor in the future. We should solve the conflicts for the sake of the present so that we could live peacefully now.

The exhibition was created by A. Lenchovska, K. Kreyderman, A. Voitenko, D. Verstak in cooperation with the Anne Frank House (Netherlands) with the financial support of the MATRA program in 2011. The exhibition was held in 17 cities of Ukraine in 2011-2014.

Photo credit: Dana Verstak, Yana Korobenko

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