Kirill Prihodko: Russia is an occupant country and we therefore didn’t want to leave to Russia

The Ukrainian refugees didn’t want to go to the Russian Federation during the Russo-Ukrainian war as Russia is considered an occupant country, Kirill Prihodko, a refugee and communication manager of the Ukrainian refugee placement center situated on Drumul Viilor St, said when he was asked why the Ukrainian refugees choose to stay in Moldova, not in Russia or in Western countries where they would have enjoyed better living conditions. “Those who fought against Nazism wouldn’t have fled to Ukraine during World War II and the Ukrainians also do not flee to Russia. However, despite such a situation, many Ukrainians are evacuated to Russia by force.

In a public debate hosted by IPN, Kirill Prihodko explained how Ukrainian refugees were taken to the Russian Federation by force: “The evacuation buses that were supposed to reach European countries were redirected to the separatist regions of Donetsk and Luhansk and further to Russia. The passengers of these buses included a large number of children and women who were taken to Russia by force. Surely, my family was categorically against leaving to the Russian Federation”.

The refugee also said that the decision to come to the Republic of Moldova was taken for security reasons, not out of particular convictions. He noted that given his knowledge, he can be more useful to his homeland from abroad.

“I went to the military registration and drafting office to see if my presence was necessary in Ukraine, according to the military commissariat. When I learned that the Ukrainian army does not need my skills on the battlefield, if I can say so, I decided to take my family – my mother and my sister – and come to Moldova,” said Kirill Prihodko.

He noted that in Moldova he found a job and shelter and also support. “I formed part of the National Congress of Ukrainians in Moldova. I realized that there are opportunities here, including the possibility of implementing projects. But I first of all found support here. I can now already help my compatriots by working at a refugee center,” he stated.

The public debate titled “Ukrainian refugees: 75 days of peaceful coexistence in Moldova during war in their homeland” was the 243rd installment of IPN’s project “Developing Political Culture through Public Debates” that is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation.

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