Two weeks ago, June 9, a family of refugees from Ukraine came to Izhevsk, Russia. Samoilov family, just like many others, escaped Donbass region to get away from flying bullets and artillery shelling. Finally, despite many difficulties, they feel safe.
Samoilov family lived in Gorlovka all their lives. Gorlovka is about 20 miles from Slavyansk and Kramatorsk – cities which are being bombed by Ukrainian army. They seen first hand the horrors of a punitive operation launched against their region. Region’s water pipes were damaged so there is no running water in many houses, no electricity in most, food shortages, and rapid inflation. Head of the household, 28 year old Ilya Samoilov, with his wife Elena decided that they need to evacuate their family from this hell on earth. They decided to go to Izhevsk.
“We’ve been to the city of Izhevsk before. I’m a professional guitarist, so is my wife. 10 years ago I came to Izhevsk to order a guitar from a famous local guitar maker Genadyi Kalabina. We became friends, he showed me the city, and I really liked it. When Ukrainian mercenaries came to our town we started thinking of moving. Our friends invited us to Izhevsk. We agreed.”
When we ran away from Ukraine we only took what we had on our backs. Most important task was to get the kids out of the region, a 2 year son and 8 months old daughter.
“We’ll be ok” – optimistically said Ilya. – “I already found a job in a factory. Right now I’m in training. We rented an apartment. Although it’s empty, no furniture, no appliances. We sleep on the floor. Our landlord is great, he promised to buy us a refrigerator, later a washing machine.”
Just like for the rest of refugees, the move for Samoylovs was hard. Ilya still has paretns and brother in Gorlovka. However, Samoylovs optimistically say that they will relocate their family to Izhevsk as well, they will not move back to Gorlovka.
“We would like to stay in Izhevsk forever. That’s what we said to the officer when we came to the immigration office. Immigration officials promised to help us with permanent residency in Russia. In a year we could apply for Russian citizenship. It’s wonderful here. People are so friendly in Izhevsk, always ready to help. This city is always developing. In 20 year I haven’t seen a single construction vehicles in Gorlovka. Here, there are many new constructions, high and stable pay. It’s also easy to find a job here. In Ukraine there is always a crisis, every 4 years country is collapsing.”