June 5, 2023

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"I don't know if I want to see my Russian father again"

“I don’t know if I want to see my Russian father again”

“Three days ago, I broke off all contact with Sergey’s parents,” says Lisa Zimina. 25-year-old Ukrainian IT employee poses for a photo of the two of them together. “This is the last time I saw him in Moscow, on Red Square.” Zimina, like many Ukrainians, has a lot of Russian relatives.

Her father, grandmother and godfather live in Moscow. Even before the outbreak of the war, relations were strained. “My father said it was all nonsense, that Russia would never invade Ukraine. Then I said to him: Well, let’s see.” The situation now became unbearable. Zimina’s father refuses to believe that it was the Russians who invaded Ukraine.

“Because of Russian propaganda, he is absolutely convinced that Ukrainian nationalists are fighting, and that all reports of the war are fake, fake news

previous disagreements

Zimina’s parents divorced when she was a year and a half old. I grew up outside Kyiv. Her father, who imports liquor, returned to Moscow. She used to visit him every summer. They had a good relationship. But during the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014 and the secession of the Donetsk and Lugansk republics, there were also disagreements between Zimina and her father.

My father said that these areas belong to Russia, and that Ukraine has no activity there. He did not take her arguments that Crimea is a Ukrainian territory occupied by the Russians. The brawl was loud. They haven’t spoken to each other for four years. But when her father gave birth to a son, and therefore she is a half-brother, she decided to reconnect. “Look, here you see me with my father and my half-brother Zachar. She’s a sweetheart.”

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