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July 6, 2022



Romani refugee from Ukraine: My husband is defending the nuclear plant in Zaporozhzhia

13.3.2022 10:45

Refugees from Ukraine have found shelter in a residential hotel in the Czech town of Mladá Boleslav, and among them are Romani women with their children. As soon as the war ends, the Romani refugees say they want to return to Ukraine.

Aid in the residential hotel is being provided to them for now by the Romodrom organization. The refugees described to ROMEA TV what their escape from Ukraine was like (click on the gear icon above for English subtitles).

"We walked on foot to the border with Slovakia," one of them told ROMEA TV. "From there they brought us to a church in Slovakia and from the church they brought us here," she described, adding that non-Romani people in Ukraine did not provide them with much aid, unlike those in Slovakia.

"We were standing at the front of the line at the border and the non-Roma pushed us to the back, the non-Roma wanted people originally from Africa to cross the border first." one of the Romani refugees told ROMEA TV. "Thank God we walked across and once we were on the Slovak side, it was much better."

"The children got hot meals and blankets," she described their arrival in Slovakia. "During the journey our children were terribly frozen."

"The Slovaks gave us aid," the Romani refugee Ukrainian described. Both praised their stay at the residential hotel in Mladá Boleslav and said they want to begin working as soon as possible. 

"Here it’s very good," one of the women told ROMEA TV. "There are social workers aiding us, bringing us food."

"We want to begin working here," she said. "We don’t just want to draw welfare, we want to work," the young Romani woman added and then spoke of her husband, who is fighting in the Army of Ukraine at Zaporozhzhia.

"Putin wants to let the nuclear power plant blow up and my man is guarding it, as a soldier," she told ROMEA TV. The Russians have said they have already taken control of that power plant.

The Romani refugee Ukrainian told ROMEA TV she believes her husband is all right although he is not writing to her much now and they are unable to call one another. As of 12 March, 78 093 refugees from Ukraine have been registered with the Alien Police or at assistance centers in the Czech Republic.

On Friday, 11 March, 4 949 more refugees were registered, roughly 130 more than had been registered on Thursday, 10 March. The Czech Interior Ministry has issued 132 995 special visas for people affected by the invasion of the Russian Federation, 11 484 of which were issued on Friday.

SB, ryz, sam, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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