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Silenced Stories: Voices of Russian Citizens

Updated: Dec 10, 2022

Those who share their voices below would greatly appreciate knowing that you were here to listen and to witness them. Please scroll down when you are finished to leave them a comment, a piece of poetry, an image, or a video to let them know they've been heard.

The Story of Alice

The 24 of February we fell into the abyss. From that moment we kept looking in that

abyss eye. That’s very painful and healing at the same time to look to the eyes of abyss.

For us it’s extremely important to be seen. We all here feel like Germans in the Fascists time, who wanted to dispose of the power of Hitler, but were absolutely powerless to realize that. We all feel like these Germans, the target of shaming words of others. “You are guilty! It’s your government! You have to be punished for that!”

We are the partisans who write “no war” on the snow under the risk of being put in jail for that. We are the prisoners of the death camps, trying to survive inhuman conditions and not to lose human dignity. It’s very painful when the flag of your country going up on the flagstaff in every elementary school, is connected to harassment and bleeding. It’s so painful to understand that your country is not existing any more. We know that we have to withstand. To rise from the hate to love. To help those to whom we can help, give more warmth to our relatives. We need to believe in light, while being in profound deep darkness. We need to believe in a miracle even if it will never happen. We have to believe…..

The Story of Kseniya

Thank you for this opportunity to write few words. I feel myself silenced. I want to scream, to yell, how deep I hate everything that is happening, all that government of my country did and is still doing now! I want to call them by their names. But I can't even whisper... I hate myself that I couldn't do anything. I feel powerless, and that feeling is devouring me from the inside.

But I want my voice to return. I know that it is important. It is important that I trust in my voice. It is important that I don’t want to believe, that I am not alone.

Story of Natalia

I was born in Ukraine and was living there till I was 5. My dad was formerly in the military and then he had to go to Ukraine for work. We don’t have any relatives there and I remember almost nothing about that time of my family. But when the war begun I was feeling like someone throw bombs on my motherland. I can’t remember exactly the time after the beginning of the war. I remember, that I was very scared the day of May 9. This is the day which celebrates strength and courage of humanity, and this will be connected to the tragedy that is going on now in Ukraine and the speeches proclaim how right everything is that is going on now.

When the mobilization begun they knocked on our door to give us the call for mobilization. I will never forget the horror inside me. “Someone can take my lovely husband, the dad of my daughter and send him to die in the war that we both hate so much! “

From that day it’s very difficult to me to enjoy life, I forget the sound of my sincere laugh! I feel like I’m not alive any more. Just surviving. I want so much to survive till the moment that the war will end. Then I will be able to feel myself free to enjoy and to have the warmth that I used to share with others the other days.

The Story of Olga

I’m very scared of isolation, that I live in Russia – the isolation from the rest of the world, where Russians become not welcomed guests. I’m very scared about my own country, where they trample the foundations of democracy, where I don’t feel any possibilities to influence that and I am only waiting with fear the next decision and action the government will take. It’s like you are locked in the box, and you want to leave it, but don’t know how to do it.

A lot of people have left Russia-mostly young active people who know that they will be able to find job in any place of the world. But what to do people after 50, who do not have such forces and enthusiasm, who just are immersed in the depression and do not know how to deal with that?

The Story of Nataly

I perceive the situation that has been beginning from February 24th, 2022 as falling into an abyss. It is terrible, because the depth of the fall cannot be predicted in any way. I feel sorry for the shattered dreams and plans, violated values. I feel sorry for my country, which, according to my feeling, rolled back at least a century.

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