Care for Marginalized
The Displaced Ukrainians struggle to start over by Mark Raczkiewycz
ataliya Menshykova never imagined fleeing her home would help fulfill a dream: running her own theater. Once an actress and theater director in the Crimean capital of Simferopol, she re-entered the theater in Lviv six months after arriving there in April 2014, intent on doing what she knows best. Eventually, she collaborated with a war veteran to establish a theater troupe consisting of other internally displaced Ukrainians. “Theater is a form of therapy, I want to help others. It’s better than giving to yourself.”
Theater, she says, is about people. “People need the theater. There’s a war in the country, yet the children grow older. They need … some kind of example. They need to understand there are people in the country they could take after.” Ms. Menshykova is one of the 10,000 people who have migrated to the city of Lviv in western Ukraine from Crimea and the villages and cities in Ukraine’s two easternmost regions, where a nearly three-year war has raged with Russian-backed separatists. Overall, about 1.7 million people have been
displaced to other parts of Ukraine — the largest displacement of people in Europe since World War II. In Lviv, most of the internally displaced persons, or I.D.P.s, have arrived with few belongings. Some are now adjusting to the fact they might not be able to move back to their homes for another five years, if ever. “Frustration is very high. There’s no clear end in sight. That’s what I hear over and over again,” says Barbara Manzi, head of the United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Kiev.