“These are the tears of great pain…” How Ukrainian refugees live in Moscow

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“These are the tears of great pain…” How Ukrainian refugees live in Moscow
“These are the tears of great pain…” How Ukrainian refugees live in Moscow
23 June, 14:26SocietyPhoto: Соцсети
Despite the assistance provided by the Moscow authorities and volunteers to the Ukrainians who fled the combat areas, their psychological state remains very difficult.

Four months after the start of the Russian special operation in Ukraine, it is impossible not to note that one of the most difficult problems caused by this has become and continues to be the problem of refugees. There are millions of them: in Europe, and in America, and in Russia. And including - in Moscow. True, according to public figure Lida Moniava, there are few Ukrainian refugees in the Russian capital relative to the population of Moscow - about a thousand. And given the unattainably high standard of living in Moscow compared to other cities in Russia, it seems that Ukrainian refugees should not have problems here. And yet, they are. Here is what Linda writes about it:

“What the state is doing: it offers refugees to settle in temporary accommodation centers. These are ghetto-type places (I'm not talking about bad conditions, but about the concentration of people behind one fence) - 300-400 refugees in one territory. These "TAPs" (temporary accommodation points) are located mainly in the regions, in remote places. There people are given accommodation and food for free. It's good that there is at least such a minimum. But there are very few chances to get out of the “PVR” into a normal life and socialize.

What volunteers do (in addition to helping all refugees who want to leave the Russian Federation): we help to integrate into normal life. To live not in a TAP ghetto, but in ordinary apartments, ordinary districts (and not only in places where there are only refugees). Enroll children in an ordinary district school and clinic, get a regular job.

About work. To get a job, refugees need to formalize their stay in the Russian Federation. To arrange this is a terrible bureaucracy, it requires money, knowledge, nerves, time. Someone does not cope with this quest at all, because. no money \ don't know how \ no strength. Someone draw up the status for 2-3-4 months. Terribly long. Until you have a status, you cannot get a job officially.

Refugees are trying to earn extra money unofficially. But they are constantly "thrown". One grandmother unofficially got a job as a concierge, washed the stairs of a multi-storey building for 2 weeks, then she was fired without paying anything, and the next refugee was hired. Another refugee got a job at a factory, she was told that she had to work 45 shifts of 13 hours in a row without days off, and then she would receive her first salary.

In short, poor refugees - until they get a status, they can only work unofficially, and they are constantly "thrown". Those who have obtained a status and are trying to get a formal job face discrimination. Employers offer less money to a refugee from Ukraine for the same job than they pay a Russian employee. Apparently they think that refugees are cheap labor? So ashamed of all this.

And how to live single mothers with children? Especially single mothers of disabled children? They would be happy to work, but with whom to leave the children? There were relatives at home, but not here.

Gardens and schools. It is a big problem to arrange a child from Ukraine in kindergarten so that parents can go to work. Our entire refugee chat is in full swing with requests to lawyers - what to do if the child is not taken to kindergarten?

It is especially difficult for refugees who are accustomed to a good standard of living. Who had a good life in Ukraine, with a good income, they could afford everything, they themselves helped others. And then they were literally without panties. And they are forced to break themselves and ask our volunteers to help them buy PANTIES. Okay, panties - we don't collect used ones and ask philanthropists to buy them. But, for example, shoes. Here lived a woman who worked in Ukraine in the civil service, everything was fine with her, fashionable shoes for all seasons. And now she has only winter boots in which she rode out. She asks us, volunteers. We send her used sneakers. In general, not her style and also used. You understand mentally - thanks at least for this, but emotionally - it's very hard. And also thank you to say, holding back tears.

When refugees write “thanks” to us, how they cried while unpacking parcels from volunteers. I understand what tears are. These are not tears of gratitude and joy. These are tears of great pain. It is difficult to turn from a well-to-do person into a beggar who has to beg in order to have basic food, underpants and shoes. It is very painful that you are now in such a helpless position. It seems that they help you, from the bottom of their hearts, it would be normal to rejoice and say thank you. But in fact, in order to ask for and accept help, you have to break yourself, it is humiliating and painful.

I have one ward of a refugee family, I have done and do a lot for them, I am in touch every day. They only said “thank you” to me once. And so they communicate dryly and tensely. At some point, I realized that this is the only possible form of communication for them, if there is even a drop more emotions, they will simply start to sob.

Mom asks for help from a psychologist because her child, who survived the bombing in the shelter, is now pissing from the sound of thunder. Mom is standing with a volunteer in the yard in prosperous Moscow, talking, and then the sounds of a helicopter are heard in the sky. That's all - she's already shaking, shrinking, closing her eyes. One boy is wildly afraid of the sounds of the subway (apparently this roar is similar to the roar of bombing), but his mother does not have money to take him in a taxi.

Such a post without conclusions. Thanks to all of you who help the refugees in any way. I want to do this so that they stop asking and thanking and can live where they want and work in their profession and provide for their families themselves. Today, yes, we help them with food and shorts, but the goal for the fall is to help them integrate into ordinary life, start working, stop being “refugees”…”

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