By Larysa Voloshyna
Translated and edited by Voices of Ukraine
The Crimeans I am meeting here [in Kyiv] are refugees that found themselves fleeing from their own country [Crimea] to their own country [mainland Ukraine]. They are confused, shocked, and disoriented. They don’t know how to go about living here. Unfortunately, what they do know is how they would have to live back there [in Crimea] – and they neither can nor want to live that way. They just can’t. Even if they wanted to. I hear this from everyone I talk to.
On the other hand, “there”, a crowd revolution is underway. It’s the time of the marginals, who rejoice in the change. Their country guarantees them the most important of their rights – to revel in the lawlessness of strangers, to bully “the smart guys,” “the deviants,” those who were unable to live their life as a member of a voiceless herd.
When they [the refugees] ask me what to do – should they go, or should they stay – I don’t know what to answer. I don’t know where it will be better, or what to do about their settled lives and property, but as I observe the events in Crimea, I do know that old man [Immanuel] Kant got some things wrong. Hell, even one with a nice climate, is not a happy place, despite the “merry company.” Crimea, along with the rest of Russia, is plunged into the dark pit of criminal dictatorship. So if there’s one thing I know, it’s this – when it comes to choosing your values, you’re not choosing where to be. You’re choosing whom to be with, and thus, choosing the person you will be.