"Rat bastard" or a Hero? How a 12-year-old boy "betrayed" his Soviet homeland

"Rat bastard" or a Hero? How a 12-year-old boy "betrayed" his Soviet homeland
"Rat bastard" or a Hero? How a 12-year-old boy "betrayed" his Soviet homeland
24 December 2020, 18:24Society
In 1980, a young native of Soviet Ukraine, who moved with his family to the United States, flatly refused to return to his homeland.

An extremely curious story from the Soviet past is recalled on social networks. It is about the Ukrainian Polovchak family, which consisted of parents, an older sister and a son, Vladimir, who managed to emigrate to America in 1980 and settle in Chicago, not far from their relatives who lived there. However, after a short time, the father of the family, who worked at home as a bus driver, but who had not learned English in a new one and did not fit into the unusual living conditions, realized that he was mistaken and wanted to return to the Soviet Union. However, the Soviet embassy was not eager to help him if he was going to leave alone. "All have arrived and all are coming back!" - said the hapless fugitive. And an almost detective story began to spin, which its protagonist Vladimir Polovchak recalls:

“We came to America in 1980. We lived 4-5 months before dad decided that he wants to return to the Soviet Union himself. The Soviet government did not let him back: they said, they say, you brought the whole family to America, so turn the whole family back. Then he convinced my mother to go with him and tried to pick us up too. My sister Natalya was then 17 years old, me - just over 12.

They started talking that we would go home. I tried to talk to my dad: I asked him to give this country some opportunities. Like, let's see how everything will turn out here, but as it was in Ukraine, in the Soviet Union, we already knew. But he said, "I will go back and you will come with me".

I said I didn't want to go back. I understood that if I go, I will never return to America.

In the USSR, in Soviet Ukraine, there was no such freedom at that time. I understood this, because in Ukraine I was already a pioneer and went to school there.

Dad was very unhappy that I didn't want to go. He told me that, they say, he would call the police, pay her $ 100, they would tie me up and throw me on a plane. I didn't know how the police treated people here, but I knew that this was quite possible in Ukraine and the Soviet Union. I got scared and ran away from home.

Then there was the Cold War, but I did not understand this and did not do it. I wanted to stay here. I had already lived in the Soviet Union for 12 years at that time and saw what kind of life and opportunities I had there.

Here I saw that you can go to church, and no one is persecuting you for it, as it was at that time in Ukraine. If you want to move from one place to another, you don't need any state permission. If it's even easier to explain: we went to the store here, and everything could be bought, I have never seen this in my life. But I saw in Ukraine people waiting in line for bread for two hours! There was nothing at the time.

I then realized that if I went, I would never come back here. And I ran away from home. The police arrested me two weeks later at my cousin's house. The police understood it this way: I ran away from home, and I must be given to my parents. I began to explain to them. Nobody spoke Ukrainian there, but they found some kind of translator from Polish.

I spent 6-8 hours at the police station. They wanted me to sign some documents, but I decided that I didn't want to sign anything, because I was afraid that they would take me away.

During that time, someone called on television. The police have already realized that the point is not that I do not want to live with my parents, but that my parents wanted to take me out of the country.

We first lived with a cousin. In the Soviet Union, they already began to say that I was stolen here, that the Baptists almost stole, deceived, attracted me with a bicycle and Jell-O (jelly candies). Propaganda began.

It was very scary, because it had never happened before that a 12-year-old child wanted to be left without parents. Little by little my sister and I began to understand what had happened to us. By that time, I already had protection from the state, but my sister and I were afraid that the KGB would kidnap me and take me out, since the case had already begun to acquire a political connotation. There were very, very terrible times. It's still surprising to me how it all turned out that I stayed here..."


In 1985 Walter Polovchak became a US citizen. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, he began visiting independent Ukraine every two years and renewed his relationship with his parents. The father died in 2008. Walter now lives in Des Plains, a suburb of Chicago. He is married, has two sons...

12-летний Владимир Половчак — «самый молодой советский перебежчик», 1980 год, США. Процессия направляется в суд, где дело Владимира рассматривалось в течении нескольких лет. В конце концов, американский суд решил предоставить мальчику временное убежище до совершеннолетия

But the most interesting thing is that the blogger who published this story, already in the title, calls the boy "a rat bastard who sold his homeland for the candies"... The overwhelming number of the readers in their comments categorically disagreed with the author:

- Even a 12-year-old boy understood what the bottom of the USSR was.

- Well done boy. Having been in a normal country back to the cesspool of the scoop, returning was worse than death.

“Rats and bastards are the ones who created this stinking concentration camp, from which people dreamed of escaping at any cost. And this dad realized that they would not give vodka for nothing in the United States and decided to sail back for gruel and a glass of poison. Such "people" and now also exist, ready for 20 tr. sit on your ass straight, plump and watch smelly TV.

- Explain, please, what was the "sale of homeland" by a 12-year-old child? Well done Volodya! At a young age, he intuitively understood where he would be better off living. By the way, such thoughts also came to me when I was 14 years old...

- The boy grew up, learned English, got some kind of education, started a family. has his own house, works. everything is fine with him. But dad later admitted to him that he made a mistake when he returned. it's just people of the age who don't go to America.

- Exactly so, in the countries of the 3rd world by talking "ancestral home" is always justified by poverty and dullness of government. The kid is great, at the age of 12 he realized what many adults are afraid to understand - that propaganda that justifies the shitty state of affairs in the country is always false.

- Friends, remember how in 1991 thousands of Russians took to the streets to prevent the State Emergency Committee from preserving the stinking Council of Deputies. And not a single person came out to defend the USSR. Even my beloved President V.V. Putin threw the KGB officer's ID on the table and said - I will not defend this prison of nations! That's how sickening the USSR is. Everyone fled from Sovok. Blessed memory of the people who died trying to escape from this country. Unfortunately, Russia has turned into the same dictatorship as the USSR. No future. People, get out of this country, save yourself...

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