Askold Zapashny's toy hobby and Alexander Oleshko's declaration of love will be shown in “Once upon a time ...” on NTV

Askold Zapashny’s toy hobby and Alexander Oleshko’s declaration of love will be shown in “Once upon a time …” on NTV

Musician, former editor-in-chief of the magazine “OM” Igor Grigoriev published an appeal to the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky. Grigoriev asked to be accepted into Ukrainian citizenship and explained in detail why he considers himself a Ukrainian.

– Pan Zelensky, please listen to my story. I was born in the Soviet Union, in which Russia and Ukraine were equal parts of one state. I was born in a maternity hospital in the city of Taganrog, a hundred kilometers from the Ukrainian border. At the age of three days, I was adopted by a family with a surname starting with “ko” and moved to a village on the banks of the Miussky Estuary, 30 kilometers from the border with Ukraine.

All the villagers had surnames beginning with “ko” and spoke surzhik – half of the words are Ukrainian, half are Russian. Our lands until 1925 were part of the Yekaterinoslav province with a center in the present Ukrainian Dnieper. Taganrog, Mines, Mariupol, Bakhmut, Donetsk, Lugansk, Zaporozhye, Berdyansk – all this was one land inhabited by those who were then called the Left-Bank Little Russians. During the All-Union census of 1926, census takers were ordered not to write down the inhabitants of these places as Little Russians, this became humiliating, but to write down either Ukrainians or Russians – as they define themselves. In the passports of my parents – those who raised me – in the nationality column it was written “Russian”, although they spoke Surzhik, and their names were on “ko”, and Ukrainian songs were sung at the table, and my mother said – “son, You don’t marry a katsapka, otherwise you’ll rake chickens with your feet. ” This is incomprehensible to the Russians, but she said that as a joke.

So, I am a citizen of the Russian Federation and in all official questionnaires in the nationality column I have to write – “Russian”. But after February 24 this year, I don’t want to write like that. I don’t want to be Russian anymore.


I was brought up as a Ukrainian. I felt like a Ukrainian all my life. Nationality is not geography. Nationality is a sense of self, self-identification. I know that I am Ukrainian. And that’s enough for me to be Ukrainian.

But I am a Ukrainian, lost between political borders to which I have nothing to do, borders that some people drew without me for the sake of their own benefit or simple recklessness.

I am a lost Ukrainian. And there are many like me. So help me and those like me to find their homeland again, the place to which we belong in our very essence.

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