People story


Story 2: Davyd

Davyd, 17 y.o., had been living separately from his parents for a couple of years in Mariupol before being forcibly deported by Russians in spring 2022. His father died early that year, and his mother couldn’t care for him. The teenager found relief in art and at the age of 15 entered an art college. Despite difficulties in family life, Davyd didn’t give up and mobilized all his will to create art, especially music.

Davyd stayed in Mariupol till April, despite the city being completely sieged and occupied. Early that month, 2022, the teenager made an attempt to escape to Ukraine-controlled territory after a blow-up of a nearby house.

The attempt was unfortunate for the teenager, as the Russian occupiers didn’t let him leave the territory because he was under 18 and without parents accompanying him. Instead, they forcibly sent the teenager to an orphanage in an unidentified city.

Davyd spent 8 months in the orphanage with other children from Mariupol of different ages. He said he was bullied for speaking Ukrainian and resisting the strict regime in the facility. Despite this, no physical force was applied towards the teenager. Russians used only brainwashing, said Dabyd. Each day, soldiers came and taught about Russian patriotism and Russian history, denying the existence of Ukraine as a separate country and Ukrainian identity. The children in the orphanage were forced to go to Moscow patriarchate church.

Music helped Davyd to go through this strict schedule every day. At nights, when everyone was asleep, the teenager sneaked out to the laundry room and created electronic music on his phone with different apps. By the November 2022, having spent 8 months in that orphanage, Davyd finished two mini albums of alternative music.

Meanwhile, Davyd was looking for volunteers to take him out of the orphanage as he couldn’t leave it having not reached 18. He found a woman, Mariia, who became his confidant and took him under her protection. After 4 days of trip through Russia and Belarus borders, Davyd reached Kyiv, where he stays till now. 


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