Ennigerloh (gl) Natascha Kucheriava gulps down, tears welling up in her 71-year-old husband Vladislav’s eyes as the 67-year-old talks about her family. While the couple were able to flee to Ennigerloh, two of their three daughters, grandchildren, and in-laws remain in Ukraine. The family lives in Zaporizhia, in the southeast of the country. The front lines of the war were still operating there in June. Gluck informs the couple of their escape and the situation at the site. Translated by Irene Ahel from Ingerloh.
Natasha Kucherava and Vladislav Kuchryaviy from the village of Kamyansky, about 50 kilometers south of Zaporizhia. Nothing is there anymore. “The Russians bombed our village,” says the 67-year-old. 15 friendly neighbors were killed. Her house was also bombed. However, no one can take care of that. “There is no way to enter or evacuate the village,” asserts Natasha Kocherava. It’s very dangerous. In addition, bridges were destroyed.
Those who succeeded in bringing bread and grain to the population.
The village of Kam’yans’ke is located in the so-called gray area. On one side is the Russian army and on the other is the Ukrainian army. When the first bombs fell, the couple fled their home into the open. I was not able to leave the village until two days later. The couple resided with their family in the city of Zaporizhia. They lived with ten people in a three-room apartment. “The sirens kept ringing and we had to flee to the bunker,” Kocherava says.
Four weeks after the illegal attack on Ukraine, Natasha Kocherava and Vladislav Kocheravi fled their homeland for Inegirloh. Two of her three daughters remained in Zaporizhia with their families.
At the end of March, the couple was finally able to leave the city via an escape corridor. We took the bus first to Warsaw, and then to the German-Polish border. Her brother-in-law took her there. One of her daughters has lived in Germany for 16 years, most recently in Inegirloh.
Natasha Kocherava and Vladislav Kocherava have been in Germany since March 29, four weeks after the start of the war. The couple is safe here, but not their family in Ukraine. You make calls every day. “We are very worried and afraid,” says Natasha Kocherava.
Three of her four grandchildren are between the ages of 18 and 22 and can, like their parents, enlist at any time. Last week, Ukraine’s Defense Ministry banned men of military age from leaving their homes. The daughters of Natasha Kocheravas and Vladislav Kocheravi do not want to leave their families. As soon as possible, the couple wants to return.
“No one expected an attack,” says Natasha Kocherava. It was reported that the Russian army was massing its forces on the border. But the invasion was unimaginable.
The relationship with Russia in southeastern Ukraine is close. Many residents fought for Russian as a second official language, says Natasha Kocherava. But now no one wants to have anything to do with Russia. She and her husband are very religious. She explains that you should never wish anything bad on anyone. But sometimes we wish Putin the same thing he did in Ukraine.”
Natascha Kucheriava and Vladislav Kucheriavyi have relatives in Belarus and acquaintances in Russia. However, the government there has blocked contact with Belarus, she says. Talking about Russia is good, although the topic of “war” should not be touched upon. Phone calls were limited to ‘hello how are you’ and ‘goodbye’.
A couple from Ennigerloh took in Natascha Kucheriava and Vladislav Kucheriavyi. The Ukrainians have been living with the couple since mid-May, who found their own apartment in Hamm-Hessen for Natasha Kocherava and Vladislav Kocheravi in June. They were supposed to move on July 1 – in fact. Bureaucracy has so far prevented this step. The immigration authorities, the Welfare Office and the county government are involved in the story.
But let’s start from the beginning: Natascha Kucheriava and Vladislav Kucheriavyi reported to the Migration Office, they have a so-called certificate of application for a residence permit. The rental costs for the apartment mentioned initially will be covered by the Social Welfare Office in Hamm. However, since Ukrainians are registered with Ennigerloh, they have to apply to the provincial government for redistribution.
He said and did. However, the Arnsberg County Government assured the Ennigerloh couple that Natascha Kucheriava and Vladislav Kucheriavyi did not need them and could live anywhere they wanted. “Nothing will stand in the way of this step.”
The Social Welfare Office sees things differently. A so-called fictional certificate is required. It can be obtained by persons residing in Germany who have applied for or extended a residence permit.
According to the Ennigerloh couple, this cannot be issued by the Warendorf District Immigration Office because there are not enough forms. Therefore, the residence permit application certificate is considered a bogus certificate. According to the couple, this was also communicated to the Social Welfare Office in Hamm. However, Hamm needs confirmation from the Alien Registration Office in the city of Hamm. This is not yet available.
“This is frustrating,” says Ennigerloher. It should not happen that Ukrainians lose their homes to the authorities. Because now the owner is also wondering when they will finally move in. If necessary, he also rents the apartment to another person.
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