People story

Story 2: Davyd

Davyd was 17 when his hometown, Mariupol, was occupied by the Russian Forces. He stayed there till April under heavy shelling and when trying to escape to Ukrainian controlled territory Davyd got imprisoned in an orphanage.

Already by February 24, 2022, Davyd has been living separately from his parents for a couple of years. His father died early and his mother couldn’t care for him. He 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.

It was music which kept him sane during the blockade of Mariupol. Once a bomb hit the house right next to the apartment Davyd rented; after that the boy lived in the basement for a couple of weeks. When the city was completely occupied by the Russian forces Davyd made an attempt to escape. Russians didn’t let him go because he was under 18 and without parents accompanying him. So they forcibly sent him to an orphanage in an unidentified city.

Davyd spent 8 months there with other children of different ages. He says he was bullied for speaking Ukrainian and resisting the regime. But no physical force was applied. Russians used only brainwashing. Each day soldiers came and taught about Russian patriotism. The children in the orphanage were forced to go to Moscow patriarchate church. Music helped Davyd to go through this strict schedule everyday. At nights when everyone was asleep the boy sneaked out to the laundry room and created music. By the 8th month in the orphanage he finished two mini albums of alternative music on his phone.

Meanwhile David was looking for volunteers to take him out of the captivity 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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