Where do you live?
Originally, I am from Ukraine, from Mykolaiv. I think that now the whole world knows about Mykolaiv. It was not always so. I then went to work in Russia and met my husband but in 2013 I felt that I needed to leave. I found a job in Limassol, which gave me and my family the opportunity to leave. In Russia, we lived well, but I had this feeling that something was wrong, that, as a Ukrainian, I was no longer safe, that I no longer had rights.
What did you have for breakfast?
I usually have my breakfast at work. Today, I had a sandwich, but before, I had a coffee at home with my husband.
Describe your perfect day
I love traveling very much. When you travel, you don’t think of other scenarios. My perfect day would be traveling with my family and learning from other cultures. My family and I used to travel before the war began. I don’t know when we will travel next. Even when the war ends, we will have so many things to do.
Best book ever read?
I used to read a lot, but after February 24, I stopped reading books. I cannot read something long – just small pieces. I wouldn’t say it’s the best book, but the book I recall most often during this war is a piece of post-apocalyptic fiction by a Russian author. In English, the title roughly translates to Checkpoint, and it was about Russia after the civil war. The book is violent, but it is truthful in the way it describes war.
Best childhood memory?
Looking back as an adult, I now understand that my school was really one of the best because it encouraged freedom of thought. Now, I understand that this education has made me a person who is able to think for herself and have her own point of view. I encourage my daughter to do the same – to think for herself.
What is always in your fridge?
Milk. The basics – and always tomatoes.
What music are you listening to in the car at the moment?
I’m not listening to music right now. I’m listening to podcasts, but I like Ukrainian music very much.
What’s your spirit animal?
It’s probably a cat because I’m independent. Cats are independent. They have personality. I have a lot of cats. I have a few that are mine that live inside of my house, but I feed and treat about ten that live outside.
What are you most proud of?
I am most proud of my child. She is very determined. She is not like me or my husband. We’re both programmers. We’re very technical, but she is an art person. She’s been dancing ballet since she was five. Now, she is 13. She knows what she wants.
What movie scene has really stayed with you?
Schindler’s List is one of the most impressive films I’ve seen since I was a child. Every time I see it, I cannot stop my tears. I don’t usually cry. Even during the first month of this war, I cried just once.
If you could pick anyone at all (alive or read) to go out with for an evening, who would it be?
I’d probably like to meet with the Ukrainian opposition leader Vyacheslav Chornovil, and I also adore the Russian opposition leader Valeriya Novodvorskaya. She was an amazing woman, who predicted everything back in 2008 (or even earlier), so I’d like to talk with her.
If you could time travel, when/where would you go?
I think a lot about the years before the First World War. It was a more easygoing time in Europe. It was a period before long wars, but if I went back in time, I would want to erase the future from my head and be, at least for some time, careless.
What is your greatest fear?
That something might happen to my family. I am also very afraid of the time after war. During war, people are very united. They act as one. They help each other, but after victory come those who want to earn money and take the victory for themselves. I’m afraid of this division.
What would you say to your 18-year-old self?
Name the one thing that would stop you from dating someone
If the person was someone who believed that people are too small to actually change anything…
If the world was going to end in 24 hours, what would you do?
I’d spend time with my family. I’d say sorry for the things that I might have done wrong.