Matrona Timofijivna, born in Kursk

Matrona Timofijivna lives in Kharkiv since 1936. She lived here through the Nazi occupation, through the cold war and in independent Ukraine.

She lives next to School no. 134 which was captured by the russian occupant forces during the battle of Kharkiv and witnessed the fighting first hand.

Matrona was born in Kursk, to russian parents. She claims that throughout all of her life, where she worked in a soviet factory manufacturing jet and aircraft parts, she never witnessed oppression of russian speaking people in Ukraine.

Adam Sybera with Matrona Timofijivna. Photo by Iva Zimova.

When she was 9 years old, she fell sick during the Nazi occupation, and said a German doctor cured her. She says she cannot imagine a russian doctor doing the same today.

Matrona lost a nephew during the war in Donbas, and her entire family left Kharkiv in 2022.

She wishes that russian mothers and sisters stopped sending their sons to a senseless war as it’s unnecessary to see their death here.

Moreover, she is convinced of Ukrainian victory, because slaves cannot control free people.

Photo by Iva Zimova, reporting by Adam Sybera

This publication is created within the project “Mapping the Russian aggression against Ukraine: Damage to cultural heritage and environment” supported by the Visegrad Fund

See full interview with Petr Pojman, including Czech subtitles and videos from locals, during the battle of Kharkiv.

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