PRESS: Els refugiats ucraïnesos no veuen “opcions de millora en un futur pròxim” by elTRIANGLE

Source: elTRIANGLE



In English (translation):

Ukrainian refugees see no “options for improvement in the near future”

Refugees interviewed by EL TRIANGLE recall the beginning of the war, now a year ago, and how they are now

On February 24, 2022, at five in the morning, Ivanna woke her husband, who was sleeping soundly in the family home in Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, with a fright. She had already heard four explosions and feared that the war had begun. At first her husband didn’t believe her, but he checked the time on his phone, contacted some friends who lived across town who were also hearing the explosions, and eventually both assumed that they were experiencing the beginning of the conflict.

Ivanna, her husband and son Ivan then began a long journey out of the country and into Poland. When they arrived in the Polish city of Lodz, they took a bus to Barcelona, where they spent 38 hours traveling, without explosions, bombings or Russian helicopters flying over the roads.

The day before the fateful day the war began, Tetiana Kharchenko, mother of Ivan and Vira, had gone skiing with the family. The next day, February 24, all the family’s projects were fragmented. Both she and her husband lost their jobs, the house in Kyiv was no longer safe to live in and the school began to be a place where news arrived of parents and in-laws killed by Russian soldiers. Staying in the country was no longer safe. Therefore, he decided to leave in fear and despair for Spain, where they had relatives.

For Maya Zhulidova, a Ukrainian resident of Catalonia for 30 years, the first hours of February 24 were “panic, uncertainty, disbelief and a lot of anxiety”. Her whole family is originally from Kyiv and she suffered especially for her mother. They tried to find a flight to take her to Catalonia, but they couldn’t find a ticket. Finally, they organized “a rescue operation” and, through family members spread across different parts of the country, they managed to move her to Barcelona.

Aleksey Yudnikov is a citizen of Ukraine, but at the same time he is a person who has developed his life project in Russia for more than 30 years for professional reasons. The war has personally divided him in two, as his mother and younger brother live in Kyiv, while his wife, four children and father live in Moscow and other cities. “I can’t focus fully on the victory of one side and the destruction of the other”, he says to EL TRIANGLE. When he remembers February 24, 2022, he mentions that “time stopped, I couldn’t believe that this was happening to me, I didn’t sleep, it was a nightmare.” Aleksey is an actor and had to leave Moscow to speak out openly against the war. Due to his critical political position with the Russian regime, he was able to be accepted into the Barcelona Artists at Risk project, a joint initiative of several institutions and entities to welcome artists in risky situations under the umbrella of an artistic residence in Barcelona. In his case, Aleksey stayed at the artists’ residence at Fabra i Coats, where he was able to develop a theater project with the Ukrainian playwright and theater director Sasha Denisova.

A year later

All the witnesses collected by EL TRIANGLE state that they want the war to end soon, because relatives and friends who live in Ukraine and fight there are continuously suffering. “They have spent months in cold basements, without water, food or medicine. Their homes have been destroyed and some have witnessed atrocities against their loved ones”, says Ivanna. For her part, Maya details the difficulties they have in knowing how their relatives and friends are doing, because communications are very bad and it can take months to find out how the youngest displaced in combat zones are doing. Maya adds that the people of her country “move a lot around the border areas, and some of those who leave the country, after a certain time, re-enter it to fight. Although they have options to live outside, they return there to be close to their people.” It is the case of an entrepreneur friend of hers who has left everything and gone to fight. In order to protect her people as much as possible, Maya, who has welcomed more than a dozen relatives in her home, collaborates in sending materials to the front. “We have private channels and we send heaters to the battalion of our young people so that their hands don’t freeze and they can defend themselves, or we send batteries, in addition to food and clothes.” In your day-to-day war, there are many coverage problems, many blackouts, and many moments without light.

“The country is being bombed continuously, and people are in danger everywhere. There are days when an entire neighborhood is without electricity and they have to go out into the street to make a fire and cook something.”

When you ask about a possible negotiation with President Putin to end the war, Maya Zhulidova is the most forceful: “What negotiation can be had? It is ridiculous to negotiate with a person who has divided our country for decades. What should we negotiate with a person who threatens Poland? I see no options for improvement in Ukraine in the near future. No one has enough strength or tools to stop the war. I don’t see the horizon”.

In Catalan (original):

Els refugiats ucraïnesos no veuen “opcions de millora en un futur pròxim”

Refugiats entrevistats per EL TRIANGLE rememoren l’inici de la guerra, ara fa un any, i com estan ara

El 24 de febrer del 2022, a les cinc de la matinada, la Ivanna va despertar espantada el seu marit, que dormia tranquil·lament a la llar familiar de Kíiv, la capital d’Ucraïna. Ella ja havia sentit quatre explosions i temia que hagués començat la guerra. Al principi, el seu marit no la va creure, però va mirar l’hora al telèfon, va contactar amb uns amics que vivien a l’altra banda de la ciutat que també estaven sentint les explosions i, finalment, tots dos van assumir que estaven vivint l’inici del conflicte.

Aleshores, la Ivanna, el seu marit i el seu fill Ivan van començar un llarg periple per sortir del país i entrar a Polònia. Quan van arribar a la ciutat polonesa de Lodz, van agafar un autobús fins a Barcelona, on van passar 38 hores de viatge, sense explosions, bombardejos ni helicòpters russos sobrevolant les carreteres.

El dia abans del fatídic dia bèl·lic, la Tetiana Kharchenko, mare de l’Ivan i la Vira, havia anat a esquiar amb la família. L’endemà, el 24 de febrer, tots els projectes familiars es van fragmentar. Tant ella com el seu marit van perdre la feina, la casa de Kíiv ja no era segura per viure-hi i l’escola va començar a ser un espai on arribaven notícies de pares i sogres morts a mans de soldats russos. Quedar-se al país ja no era segur. Per tant, va decidir marxar amb por i desesperació cap a Espanya, on tenien familiars.

Per la Maya Zhulidova, ucraïnesa resident a Catalunya des de fa 30 anys, les primeres hores del 24 de febrer van ser de “pànic, incertesa, incredulitat i molta angoixa”. Tota la seva família és originària de Kíiv i patia especialment per la seva mare. Van intentar trobar un vol per portar-la cap a Catalunya, però no van trobar cap bitllet. Finalment, van organitzar “una operació de rescat” i a través de familiars repartits per diferents punts del país van aconseguir traslladar-la fins a Barcelona.

L’Aleksei Iúdnikov és ciutadà d’Ucraïna, però a la vegada és una persona que ha desenvolupat el seu projecte de vida a Rússia durant més de 30 anys per motius professionals. La guerra l’ha dividit personalment en dues parts, ja que la seva mare i el seu germà petit viuen a Kíiv, mentre que la seva dona, els quatre fills i el seu pare viuen a Moscou i altres ciutats. “No puc centrar-me plenament en la victòria d’una part i la destrucció de l’altra”, diu a EL TRIANGLE. Quan recorda el 24 de febrer del 2022, menciona que “el temps es va aturar, no podia creure que això m’estigués passant, no dormia, era un malson”. L’Aleksei és actor i va haver de marxar de Moscou per pronunciar-se obertament contra la guerra. A causa de la seva posició política crítica amb el règim rus, es va poder acollir al projecte Barcelona Artistes En Risc, una iniciativa conjunta de diverses institucions i entitats per acollir artistes en situacions de risc sota el paraigua d’una residència artística a Barcelona. En el seu cas, l’Aleksei ha fet una estada a la residència dels artistes a la Fabra i Coats, on ha pogut desenvolupar un projecte teatral amb la dramaturga ucraïnesa i directora de teatre Saixa Deníssova.

Un any després

Tots els testimonis recollits per EL TRIANGLE manifesten que volen que la guerra s’acabi aviat, perquè familiars, amics que resideixen a Ucraïna i lluiten allà pateixen contínuament. “Han passat mesos en soterranis freds, sense aigua, ni aliments ni medicines. Les seves llars han estat destruïdes i n’hi ha que han presenciat atrocitats contra els seus éssers estimats”, manifesta la Ivanna. Per la seva part, la Maya detalla les dificultats que tenen per saber com estan els seus familiars i amics, perquè les comunicacions són molt dolentes i es pot trigar mesos a saber com estan els més joves desplaçats a les zones de combat. La Maya afegeix que la gent del seu país “es mou molt per les zones frontereres, i alguns dels que surten del país, al cap de cert temps, hi tornen a entrar per anar a lluitar. Encara que tenen opcions de viure a fora, hi tornen per estar a prop de la seva gent”. És el cas d’un empresari amic seu que ho ha deixat tot i ha anat a lluitar. Per protegir al màxim a la seva gent, la Maya, que ha acollit a més d’una desena de familiars a casa seva, col·labora en l’enviament de materials al front. “Tenim canals particulars i enviem calefactors al batalló dels nostres joves perquè no se’ls congelin les mans i es puguin defensar, o bé enviem piles, a més de menjar i roba”. En el seu dia a dia bèl·lic, hi ha molts problemes de cobertura, moltes apagades i molts moments sense llum.

“El país està sent bombardejat contínuament, i la gent corre perill a qualsevol lloc. Hi ha dies on un barri sencer està sense llum i han de baixar al carrer per fer un foc i cuinar alguna cosa”.

Quan preguntes per una possible negociació amb el president Putin per posar fi a la guerra, la Maya Zhulidova és la més contundent: “Quina negociació es pot fer? És ridícul negociar amb una persona que durant dècades ha seccionat el nostre país. Què hem de negociar amb una persona que amenaça Polònia? No veig opcions de millora a Ucraïna en un futur pròxim. Ningú té prou força o eines per aturar la guerra. No veig l’horitzó”.