RIVNE (QHA) -

Svetlana Kocherga studies the works of an outstanding Ukrainian writer Lesya Ukrainka, she is also the author of an article on the artists of the Crimean peninsula, and the author of lyrics set to music by a famous Russian singer Sofia Rotaru.

In the bookstore "E" in the city of Rivne where Svetlana Kocherga arrived on a visit, a lot of people gathered to listen not only about the Museum of Lesya Ukrainka, but also about the Crimea in general.

“When I was in Yalta, there was the problem of establishing the Museum of Lesya Ukrainka. I managed to create it. For a long time I was in charge of it, and then I switched to science," Svetlana Kocherga told a QHA correspondent.

The writer was forced to leave the Crimea after the pseudo-referendum, because she "could not belong there." At the same time, she deeply respects people who have stayed and continue working on the development of the Ukrainian idea. Once she still had to go to the Crimea. Svetlana notes that first of all she was struck by the emptiness, lack of energy, of life, which used to flourish there.

“I adhere to the position that it is unethical to go there, if it is not necessary. The only time I went there was for the birthday of Lesya Ukrainka. I was struck by emptiness of Simferopol, seemed like a crowded holiday, which had always reigned there, was over. But at the same time, I was struck by the sea air, which has not changed at all. This is God's given land, and it must be cherished and loved, I do not doubt it,” the philologist believes.

Self-censorship introduced in the Crimea, and fear rules the population. People had certain hopes when they received material benefits, but in exchange they lost a sense of freedom, Svetlana Kocherga says.

“First there was a triumph, but the very next morning they got a feeling of lack of freedom. And in the morning they all woke up," she states.

The writer went on saying, that many Crimeans have lost the right to consider themselves free people, the right to choose has disappeared, now they say, it is necessary to listen carefully and coordinate everything.

"They are paid more money for this. But it is difficult for them to accept that the system has changed. They feel uncomfortable. Perhaps, after a while they will adapt and feel that they have chosen something better - the material goods, a great state. But now they have become puppets in a big circus," Svetlana Kocherga says.

The writer still keeps in touch with her friends who stayed in the Crimea and rejoices when they organize events to promote Ukrainian culture there, but she believes that this is all by inertia, and soon, if nothing changes, there will be a complete "desert".

QHA