From Ukrainians in Bulgaria, frankly
Here are nine short first-person stories of Ukrainian citizens fleeing the war in their native country, recorded in Burgas, Sliven, and Stara Zagora in October 2022. We do not claim that they are the most dramatic, the most “interesting” or that they are 100% representative of all citizens who fled Ukraine to Bulgaria, but that is not the purpose of the narrative.
We have collected these stories here because many of us have never met or interacted with Ukrainians who have sought refuge in our country and have no way of knowing what kind of people they really are. They usually only get in the news when a scandal can be created around their experiences if the government decides to move them back and forth again, stop their food, and so on. Like all other people, Ukrainian refugees in our country are different. They suffer and try to overcome the situation in their own way. They also have their own dreams.
These narratives have been gathered with the help of Bulgarian civil society organizations, many of them members of the Citizen Participation Forum network, and Bulgarian volunteers who help Ukrainian citizens fleeing war in Bulgaria to find their place for the time they are here, and thus largely compensating for the institutional insufficiency of the country. We thank them all for their bravery.
Nadia, with the never-ending dream of becoming an Olympic champion
Diana on how much the illusion of normality helps
Natalia from Herson who wants her country to be the best in the world
Nadezhda from Nikolaev who believes that when it comes to helping others, Ukrainians could learn a lot from Bulgarians
Natalia, the volunteer from Kyiv, who is happy that she can be helpful to others
Ekaterina from Odessa, who wants everything to be as it was before
The cobbler who now helps in a kitchen and says that Bulgarians actually like Ukrainians
Natalia from Kramatorsk, whose home was destroyed but still dreams of returning back
Katya, who we brought to tears by asking one naive question
The filming of the stories was co-funded by the European Union. The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author or authors and do not reflect those of the European Union or the European Commission. Neither the European Union nor the body providing the financial assistance can be held responsible for the same.