People story


Story 27: Anastasiia

A 15-year-old Anastasiia lived in Kherson with her parents and attended a local school. In September 2022, her schoolteacher, a collaborator, hastily arranged a trip to a “health camp” in Crimea. Anastasiia’s mother, Liudmyla, had little time to contemplate the proposal as the teacher urged her to sign the necessary documents. At the station, as she bid farewell to her daughter, Liudmyla was struck by the sight of about 100 buses filled with children of various ages, suggesting a mass removal of Kherson’s children by collaborators.


When it was time for Anastasiia to return from the camp in Crimea after three weeks, she did not. Nor did she return a week later or even a month after. Liudmyla was informed that the return was delayed. That’s when she realized her child had been kidnapped and deported.


Anastasiia remembered that the children in the camp were all from Kherson. They were required to sing the Russian anthem each morning and were exposed to Russian propaganda films, an apparent attempt at indoctrination.


Determined to bring her daughter back, Liudmyla sought help. She connected with volunteers who organized a trip to Crimea and assisted in Anastasiia’s legal return. Mother and daughter were reunited and now reside in the liberated Kherson.


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