Refugee notes: The place where I am from

Honestly I didn’t know how to start writing it. I spent lots of hours doing everything (or nothing) but not writing. Every time I sit to write there are a thousand small things to do before: check my email, reply to messages, drink tea (very important!!😄). I think it’s my anxiety and fear of opening up makes me put things off for later or until never. But I know I need to write because it helps me. And I want to be honest even if it hurts me and even if I’m afraid of it. Let’s pretend that you all are psychologists and you won’t be judging me or jail for dissent 😅

So my name is Sofia (you knew it already) and I’m from Crimea (you didn’t know it yet). Usually people have two reactions when they hear where I am from:
1.Awkward “mmm” because they have no idea where it is or
2.Awkward “ohhhh” because they are good at geography and politics.

Crimea on the Europe map

I don’t want to tell you that boring history about my region (it’s more funny because I have degree in history science😅) but shortly Crimea is the most beautiful place in the world. And before 2014 it was part of Ukraine but after 2014 it became part of Russia. According to the Ukraine and international law Crimea was occupied. According to Russia, Crimea was returned to its historical homeland.

So I lived in Ukraine, witnessed the events of 2014 and lived in Russia. And all of this without leaving the borders of Crimea😆

me in Crimea ❤️

After first awkwardness people ask me several questions and usually they are all the same:
1.Which side are you for?
2.How do you feel about the war?
3.So who are you, Russian or Ukrainian?

I’ll write the answers to these questions later, as well as how I ended up where I am now.
Spoiler – it wasn’t easy, but not for reasons one might think of 🙈
But I also have a question for you: did you know where Crimea is?

64 Comments

  1. rose2852 says:

    Yes, I knew where Crimea is. We learned about the 1853 war in history classes. Australia got a bit jittery about the war and planned to ramp up defences of Sydney Harbour (there are colonial fortifications all over the Harbour foreshores including some close to where I live). Sounds a little crazy when you think how far away Sydney is from Crimea.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Sofia says:

      I think Sydney is quite far from almost everything 😅 But I know that Australia is a beautiful country and I’d like to visit it someday. And I’m really impressed about your knowledge of Crimea 🤗👍

      Liked by 1 person

  2. spwilcen says:

    Writing can be therapeutic. Write. That doesn’t mean you have to publish anywhere. Writing is talking with yourself. Be a good listener in this case. Things seem to become clearer when you hear or see your thoughts. File your thoughts away. You can look on them later and validate or reject them. But your mental past has much to do with your mental present and indeed your mental future. Keep at it. Try not to lose heart. Yup. There are folk who can do little for you but offer encouraging words. That’s something.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Sofia says:

      Thank you! And I will definitely continue to write, if only to receive such wonderful comments as yours 🤗

      Liked by 1 person

  3. rajkkhoja says:

    I don’t know where Crimea. I can read your blog and see the map. I Gus it’s in Ukraine. Now where you live? You have to any problem or effected of the war. Are u safe. Beautiful you share your experience. I like & happy. Beautiful write up blog .✍️🌹

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Sofia says:

      Yes I’m safe now and I really trying my best to be happy again. Anyway thank you 🤗

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Yes my friend.
    I came to know about Crimea in 2014 when it became part of Russia.
    I also came to know about a sect known as tartars, who I understand were worried when Crimea became Russia.
    Can you elaborate further?
    Thank you.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Sofia says:

      I do not know such a sect, but I do know that one of the indigenouspeoples of Crimea is the Crimean TTatars and yes most of them were against Russian policy in Crimea in 2014

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you for the information Sofia.

        Liked by 2 people

  5. Navin says:

    Thank you for your lovely sharing, Sofia 💫

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Sofia says:

      thank you for reading it 🤗

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Navin says:

        You’re welcome ✨🤗💫

        Liked by 2 people

  6. Yes, I know where Crimea is. I also am interested in your perspective because I think mainstream media likes to manipulate that what is difficult to seek for one’s own interest.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Sofia says:

      Yes, unfortunately, the media are rarely objective and you need to study the position of everyone in order to understand something.
      And of course thank you for reading my blog 🤗

      Like

  7. Outsider says:

    Thank You for Sharing Sofia! Keep going at it. Writing gives you this sort of clarity when your thoughts become foggy, it does a lot of I’m being honest. The possibilities are endless.🤘🏾

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sofia says:

      Thank you 🤗

      Like

  8. Ashley says:

    If you are able to write, you should do so! An earler comment was that it is a bit like talking to yourself, however, it can be more than that especially when others begin reading your words. I know where Crimea is, it’s that bit of the land that sticks out into the Black Sea. The people, who’s history and culture lie in the soil, they are the ones who own it! Nice to meet you here! 😊🙋‍♂️

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sofia says:

      Yes you’re right! Thank you 🤗

      Like

  9. butungislayp says:

    Thank you for sharing a piece of yourself in this post. I am happy to know you are writing and am interested to know more about the paths you tread on in your country.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sofia says:

      The support of other people makes me write even more. Thank you! 🤗

      Like

  10. datta says:

    I knew as is shown in the post map photo! The site is really very good and unique in location!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sofia says:

      That’s true 😊

      Like

  11. Danny Watts says:

    Hello Sophia. Glad to met you. I am glad you are safe. I am familiar with the location of Crimea. Can’t say I know anything if it’s history other than the annexation. Journaling is wonderful means of stress release. It eliminates those awkward moments when you try to speak with others about what you are going through.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sofia says:

      Thank you 🤗

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Jeff Cann says:

    I once saw Crimea in one of those international house hunter shows, and I was like, damn, why don’t I live there? I’m so worried that when Putin’s invasion ends, Russia will permanently occupy yet more of Ukraine. Russia needs to be held accountable for what’s going on now and 2014 as well. I’m very disappointed in the ‘west’ for allowing that 2014 aggression go without consequences. My mother-in-law was displaced from Ukraine during WW2 and emigrated to the United States. This repeated land-grab needs to end. Nice to meet you.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sofia says:

      I also believe that all international disputes should be resolved by discussion, not by the use of force 🙌
      Thank you for your support 🌺

      Like

  13. It’s so good that you’re writing this down, it’ll certainly help you process this turbulent journey you’ve been on for the last year. Also know that there are a lot of supportive people out there all over the world who would love to read this! Lots of love from London.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sofia says:

      Yes, I know! I meet a lot of good people who are ready to support, listen and help. And I really hope that I am also useful to someone 🙏
      Thank you!🤗

      Like

  14. 💙💛🕊
    ▪◾◼◾▪▫◽◻◽▫▪◾◼◾▪▫◽◻◽▫▪◾◼◾▪
    ▫◽◻◽▫▪◾◼◾▪▫◽◻◽▫▪◾◼◾▪▫◽◻◽▫

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sofia says:

      🕊🕊🕊

      Liked by 1 person

  15. thank you for opening my eyes , I am learning of this place through your beautiful writings 💙😊

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sofia says:

      Thank you 🤗

      Like

  16. Orca Flotta says:

    “1.Which side are you for?
    2.How do you feel about the war?
    3.So who are you, Russian or Ukrainian? ”
    /me excitedly raises hand: Let me answer that for you. 😉
    1) Depends on your political stance. Hint: All the kool kidz are rooting for mother Rossija.
    2) War is shit, so I guess you feel shitty. Otoh you’re in the untouched security of Crimea, not on shitty mainland. And you enjoy a stable democracy and economy, too.
    3) Let me guess: Like at least 80% of Crimeans you’re Russian, right?
    Oh, and …
    “did you know where Crimea is?”
    Everybody knows where Crimea is, and the lively history of that jewel. With the exception of some Americans maybe but nobody cares about those barbarians in the first place.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. successbmine says:

    I knew about Crimea because of the impact Florence Nightingale had during the Crimean War in the mid-1850s. I have 2 movies about her work there. I don’t know much about its history or geography, though. But I’m happy to meet you here.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sofia says:

      Thank you 🤗

      Like

  18. I do know where Crimea is now that the area is in the news continuously… Be well and safe, my friend.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sofia says:

      Thank you 🤗

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Orca Flotta says:

      You do NOW??? 😮
      I always knew Americans are kinda alien to this planet … but at least try to hide it better or you’ll blow your cover. 😐

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sofia says:

        I find this message a bit rude. You may be rude to me, but not to other people on my site. It’s okay not to know something or not be interested in something. And I wouldn’t want people to judge each other for that. I’m sure we all have something to share and everyone has knowledge that no one else has 📖

        P.S. If I misinterpreted the message and you didn’t mean to be rude, then sorry

        Liked by 3 people

      2. Orca Flotta says:

        “It’s okay not to know something or not be interested in something.”
        No, it’s not. Not when you wanna blast out your ill-educated opinion on the internet.

        “And I wouldn’t want people to judge each other for that.”
        In a text-based environment like the comment section of a blog there is nothing else to judge opinions on. Opinions, not people. I don’t care for people, only about how informative/useful their posts are.

        “If I misinterpreted the message and you didn’t mean to be rude, then sorry”
        I don’t know if you misinterpreted me, and I don’t care much. I was majorly pissed off by Bette’s post and showed how shocked I was about such ignorance of the world.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Sofia says:

        Sometimes in the comments, people not only judge opinions, but also share their warmth and support. This is very important and valuable, especially now.

        And this particular comment was addressed to me, not to you. And I am very grateful for the kind words and friendliness in it🔅

        Liked by 3 people

      4. Orca Flotta says:

        “This is very important and valuable, especially now.”
        What do you mean? You moved from Crimea to the UK. All by yourself. And now you can’t find friends and that’s a problem somehow? Why? You’re a stranger in a strange land, it’s perfectly normal to be kinda outsider the first couple of years.

        “And this particular comment was addressed to me, not to you.”
        It was an open comment in an open comment section, and it reeked of incompetence.

        Liked by 1 person

  19. Sophia, Thanks for liking my comment on Bart’s site. I do know where Crimea is and have always known but that’s because I was in love with Russian lit all during my teens and twenties and thirties. I also lived in Alaska for 25 years in the SE part and Vladivostok was the Sister City of Juneau, Alaska, the capital there. Anna Akhmatova and Joseph Brodsky are still two of my favorite poets, but it was Anna who first made me fall in love with poetry. I understood her work. I think that in part at least the famines in Ireland and Scotland were caused by the British taking their food for the Crimean War. I hate that it’s war that brings attention to some of the world’s most beautiful places.
    I also liked your story and how you stated out with the blank white page. All the best to you.
    Mary

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sofia says:

      Thank you 🤗
      So you can speak Russian?

      Like

      1. Nyet. I read translations hoping they are good. Since Joseph Brodsky was the Poet Laurate of US and spoke English I have good translations of his work that he did himself. When I listen to him in the Russian though it sounds like he is praying.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Sofia says:

        😄

        Like

      3. No, can’t speak it. I read translations. I listen to Joseph Brodsky in Russian sometimes because I love hearing him. It sounds like he is praying when he reads.

        Liked by 1 person

  20. I knew approximately where it is but not precisely. I didn’t realize so much of the borders of it are coastline on The Black Sea. I understand why everyone wants the territory strategically as well as for the beauty of it.

    Liked by 2 people

  21. catterygirl says:

    I know where Crimea is roughly because I used to work in a shipping office. Your English is excellent. Hope you will be happy soon and keep writing.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sofia says:

      Thank you 🤗

      Like

  22. I learned something from you today. Thank you for an informative post about your beautiful country.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sofia says:

      Thank you 🔅

      Liked by 1 person

  23. Chris Hall says:

    I knew where Ukraine was even before the reporting on this terrible and unjust invasion and occupation by Russia, mostly through reading fiction. May you stay safe, Sofia.🌻

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sofia says:

      Thank you 🤗

      Liked by 1 person

  24. Of course, I knew of Crimea from the story of Florence Nightingale and from English literature. l recently have learned more about Crimea from following the news and from YouTube documentaries. Your photo is lovely.
    I told you about my Russian children in a previous comment. They are from Yekaterinburg. I also have a Russian-born sister-in-law from Georgia.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sofia says:

      You’re so happy to have a big international family 🤗

      Like

  25. Anna says:

    I knew about crimea for sure… i love reading history and travel books so it has popped up before!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sofia says:

      That’s soo nice 🤗

      Like

  26. LAWET says:

    I have been conducting research on refugee crisis for long. It is a hell. I dream one day there will be no refugee, no statelessness.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sofia says:

      🙌

      Like

  27. Motyl_1960 says:

    Funny and perhaps not very important, but Ayla was also from Crimea. Ayla as in the main character of the books of Jean M. Auel. Perhaps you read them. I found your blog because you liked a comment of me on someone else’s blog. We have a friend in Bruges who has two women of Ukrain in her house. 🙌

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sofia says:

      I haven’t read this book, but it should be very interesting ☺️

      Like

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