Russian Author: I do not want to be a Russian citizen since Russia invaded Crimea
Writer Tatiana Juridova, who lived in Crimea and wrote children’s books before the Russian invasion, recently published the book “Invasion of Crimea” in Poland. In the book, Jurinova revealed how the invasion of Crimea occurred through the eyes of a witness. The author states that she wrote this book for people who live in Europe still believing that Crimea is supposedly ‘associated’ in Russia willingly and all Russian citizens were looking forward to it. According to Jurinova, most people are unaware of what exactly happened on the peninsula in early 2014.
Tatiana Juridova narrated to the Crimean News Agency (QHA) why she wrote this book as a Russian citizen and also mentioned about her attempts to get political asylum from Germany and Poland.
Life in Crimea
We moved to Crimea in 2008 because of my brother’s illness. He had a problem with his feet and he was walking very hard. We used to live in Latvia before. However, the physicians we consulted neither in Latvia nor Moscow or elsewhere could help us. After a while, we gave up hoping from the treatment. My children advised me to move to Crimea because the climate there, is very nice. We rented a house there and began taking my brother to the sea every day. My brother’s condition got better in Crimea. He cheered up, he got up an appetite and he began walking better. Therefore, we were planning to buy a flat there and to settle completely on the peninsula. We lived in Yalta for two years and in Kezlev for three years.
About Russian Invasion in Crimea
I was having trouble understanding the situation when Russia actively started invading the Crimea. I was very confused and shocked. I tried to reveal these feelings in my book. Because I had not even dreamed that Russia would occupy Crimea in my worst nightmare.
We are in the twenty-first century, states apart from each other a long time ago. After 1945, all countries in Europe, gave up occupying of other countries’ lands, because any occupation could lead to war. To a serious war that no one wants.
I remember very well, I began to perceive what exactly is happening on February 25, 2014.
I read on the internet that warplanes are flying over the peninsula. My book starts with this scene of my life. I was sitting in an internet cafe and waiting for a letter from my kids.
Then I came home and said to my brother, “You know, military forces are entering Crimea.” “What forces?” He asked. “I don’t get it too. There is no sign on them.” I replied.
This is a terrible feeling. I am the child of a soldier. My relationships with my father were always difficult, but I was always proud of his profession. I think it is an honor to be a soldier who is always ready to sacrifice his life for his country. To protect his motherland…
I was shocked when I realized that the Russian army had started crossing the border to occupy the territory of Ukraine to accomplish the illegal orders issued by the Russian Presidency of General Staff.
I was 60 years old when Russia invaded Crimea. If I hadn’t lived in Crimea at the time, I probably wouldn’t believe that such a thing is possible. So I decided to write a book to tell people the truth.
The book “Invasion of Crimea”
I understood what would happen to me after writing this book. After I left Crimea on March 6, 2014, Russia adopted the law indicates that any publicly disclosed statement that Crimea belongs to Ukraine, is a crime.
In my book, I am narrating that it is wrong to occupy Crimea, so I knew what all these words would lead to.
I finished writing my book in Germany in 2017. However, they said that this book is nonsense in Germany and that nobody is interested in it. This surprised me very much. Later, while I was living in the refugee camp, I added some more words to the book. In 2018, I asked for money from my friends to print the book on Facebook. I found a publishing house in Ukraine. We agreed with them, but then I thought about adding some more parts to the book. I was only able to finish my book in November 2019. The publishing house in Ukraine could not publish my book because it was a long time. Then I found a publishing house in Kraków, Poland.
Political Asylum practices in Germany and Poland
They invited my son to Germany for work and I went with him. At that time, my Russian passport was expired. I definitely didn’t want to extend it. Because I wanted to left Russian citizenship. I do not want to become a Russian citizen since Russia occupies Crimea.
Human rights defenders advised me to seek for political asylum because I cannot live without a passport in Europe. I have been under international refugee protection for 7 months in Germany. I lived in the refugee camp for 6 months and lived with my son for a month. Then I went to Poland. The attitude in Germany was very terrible. German immigration officials were criticising my choice and insulting.
Ethnic German employees were acting very rude and mean, they were shouting at me. They said:
“You are Russian. You lived well in Crimea. You are lying, all the Russians are happy in Crimea. Why did you write this book anyway? If you think that Russia will punish you, why did you write it?”
This was very humiliating. The behavior of the German authorities shocked me.
Eventually, I had to leave Germany. I am currently applying for asylum in Poland. My daughter lives in Poland and has a residence permit. Last summer, my son also got a residence permit in Poland and started teaching at the local university. Also, the documents found while I was in Germany, shows that my grandparents were Polish. This gives them the chance to apply for Polish citizenship.
About the propaganda, the demonstrations and the ‘Invasion of Crimea’ book
I want my book to be read first by the Russians. I’m very sorry that most Russian people believed in this Kremlin propaganda. I explained everything with details in my book, day by day. Meetings in Kerch, Akyar, Akmescit. I hope that people who believe that Crimea is willingly associated with Russia will read this book. If they read the book, they would realize that the Russian media is deceiving them.
Of course, I want the Russians living in Europe to read the book too. Many people in the world remain to be deceived by Kremlin’s propaganda. There are a lot of people in Germany who believe that Crimea is connected to Russia because all Russians want it. I believe most of the people don’t know the truth and it should be told them. It should be done by people who want to save Crimea from occupation.
I also want to show the Russian soldiers how miserable what they are doing. Probably no Russian soldier would want to be surrounded by the soldiers of another country in his military base and told,
“Get over to our side, lower your country’s flag. We will pay you for that.”
Nobody wants it. And what they do in Crimea is lowness. Every person who sees himself as an honest person should not obey such illegal orders. I think they should withdraw from Crimea. So I explained everything in detail in my book. I hope that my book will be translated into Polish and English soon and reach a wider audience.