top of page

Ryazantseva Maryna



How did you experience war in 2014? What do you remember from that? How old were you? How did 2014-2015 go for you?
Please tell this story in detail.

When the war started I was in Luhansk. At that time, I was studying at the Luhansk State Academy of Culture and Arts - LSACA (or - as we called it then - "SACK" (t.n. wordplay)). It was the spring, the end of my fourth year. I had just started writing my thesis at the academy, but it was very difficult to concentrate on the work, because we all already understood that something important was happening in the city - but in a bad sense. At that time, small buses with military personnel from russia had already arrived in Luhansk and with the support of some treacherous (godhelpme) local structures, in a matter of days an artificial coup in the local authorities was staged. This happened literally before my eyes, because I lived in a house that was next to the police department. I remember that I had to stand in line in a nearby store because there were a lot of russian soldiers who wanted to buy something for rubles. I also remember how I woke up to the sound of fighter jets: for the first time I thought that something was flying down and in a moment we would all die, I literally got up in a second and was waiting for what would happen. I never finished my diploma, I realized that I had to get out of here. It kind of was the most productive day of my life. In one day, I moved all my paintings home from the academy, gathered all my things, found someone to give little puppies to (their mother-dog abandoned them in Stakhanov, it was a pity; I quietly moved them to Luhansk, I thought I would come up with something, just wanted to save them) and a miracle - they were all taken in one day; on the same day, I quit my job (my friends and I worked part time engraving portraits on monuments), took care of some small issues in the city, and moved all my things to Stakhanov, in order to leave for Kyiv the next day.

Sevastopol 2013 month after occupation 1.png
"Where were you these 8 years?".
How has this time passed for you, what changed in your life since the events of 2014?
What has influenced you the most during this time?
Please write in detail.

I spent the first 3-4 years in Kyiv. Gradually, almost all of my friends and the most adequate acquaintances moved to Kyiv, and that's how our casts-oriented eastern community came together outside of Luhansk. I believe that this is a unique example of unity, because we really always had a very active big avant-garde group where almost everyone knew each other. It was very nice to always meet various acquaintances by chance. Even if you don't know the person well, you get this feeling that you are a part of one thing; we all have a lot in common, especially after 2014, when ideological commonality was also added. In Kyiv, I entered NAOAA, and finished my "higher" degree there. I first worked as a teacher, then at a mosaic, then made copies on a permanent basis, sometimes even managed to sell something I made through acquaintances or online. These were very cool years, spent in `en plein air`. Also, after studying, I got to live in Bucha for three years (it was very painful for me to receive news about Bucha and messages from relatives and friends from there). Now I am in Amsterdam, but Kyiv will always remain my home. I hope to return to my life there.

Donbas war 1.png
Bucha 2018 1.png
What was February 24, 2022 for you like?
Did you believe that a full-scale offensive would begin?Where are you now? What do you do?

What do you think about your future now?

I was in Istanbul and I am still so happy that my friends from Kyiv came to visit me at that time (Luhansk friends, from the same legendary eastern cast :)). We already felt the day before that something was going to happen, because the news was clear, as far as I was concerned, everything was leading to war. On the morning of February 24, I heard the voice of my friend Nastya: "Marin, wake up, the war has started." Probably the most frequent phrase with which people met this war. We were safe, of course, but those were the most stressful days of our lives. Like many, we hardly slept, ate little, if we managed to fall asleep for an hour or two, we still woke up to read the news. It seemed that we all woke up in some other world. Every day we thought about what we could do: I sent all the money that was on the cards to the Armed Forces without hesitation, and was also thinking that if I didn't buy this and that, there would be more money, and now these things held no meaning at all. Only the war and your country, its people have meaning... Even to this day, I have not come to my senses fully,  because every day I constantly worry about seeing something sad in the news, and every day I spend a lot of time analyzing the situation. But at the same time, I try to find time to work and sometimes switch back to my dad-to-day life.

Luhansk spirit 2014 1.png
Luhansk etude2 1.png
Luhansk 1.png
bottom of page