«The Ukrainian woman attacked a Russian woman with a knife», «Ukrainian woman wanted to kill a Russian woman in Larnaca» — these and similar headlines were published by Cypriot and international media the day before yesterday. Russian propaganda publications especially savored the news, adding the traditional fakes to the report. Cyprus Daily News found out what really happened and how it happened. Find out more in this exclusive interview with Irina Krivous, a Ukrainian.
— Irina, what happened on August 22 in front of the Faneromeni Church in Larnaca?
— I was at home. I was cooking eggplants for dinner. I heard a noise outside the window, looked out and was taken aback. There was a pro-Rashist rally, or gathering, I don’t even know what to call it.
— What exactly did you see?
— I saw a police car, 10-12 people, and 5-6 Russian flags. As I saw it, the blood ran into my head from indignation and I ran out to them.
— Were there children among the crowd?
— No. I have already read that some publications have written that there were children among the crowd, but there weren’t. That’s right. Maybe one teenager walking by, but he would have looked like an adult.
— Why did you run out to them?
— I wanted to stop what was happening, I wanted to ask them how they were not ashamed to support this horror now that Russia had attacked Ukraine, now that Russia was robbing, raping and killing Ukrainians. How can you support war and violence? How can you support this regime? All pro-Russian rallies are a mockery of the innocent victims of Russian aggression, of Ukrainians. It is spitting in the face of the entire civilized world, it is immoral! It is mockery, after all!
Moreover, I have known for a long time that some of those assembled are radical Rashists, sadists, they bow down to Putin and rejoice in the deaths of Ukrainian citizens. Atrocity. Well, okay, they would rejoice in silence, but in public! How is that? I wanted to stop it! To call them to conscience!
— Rashists? Who, for example?
— Like Lyudmila, I don’t remember her last name exactly, I think it was Chuikova. On Facebook, her nickname is «Vikelena Flowers». This is the Rashist activist that I allegedly attacked. The video that they shot shows that I didn’t attack anyone, that I only spoke, yes, loudly, yes, hysterically, yes, in a state of affect, but I didn’t attack.
(According to Cyprus Daily News sources, Ludmila «Flowers» is a Kremlin paid agent and/or someone with serious mental disorders and intemperate drinking. This information is now being verified and clarified by our publication, — ed.)
— A state of affect? Were you so angered by the crowds? Were they shouting or calling for something?
— No, I don’t think so, they just came. The gathering — the rally was just beginning. Or I don’t remember their cries. And I was in a state of affect because they were supporting the war, supporting the bloodshed, because of people like them I had just lost my brother. He was killed by the same sadists, with the same flags as those who gathered for the pro-Russian rally.
— A brother? How and when did this happen?
— June 26. Near Dnipro. At first he was in the military defense, then he had military training and went to war. While he was in the military defense, we were in touch all the time, and then the connection disappeared. The front. I didn’t even know right away what had happened. And when I found out… That day divided my life into «before» and «after».
— Tell me about it.
— I was walking from the sea in high spirits when I got a call at home. From my son. Not on messenger, as usual, but a regular phone call from Ukraine. I was frightened, and was already ready to hear the bad news about my mother — she is 90 years old — but my son told me about something else: that Oleg (my brother — editor’s note) had been killed. At first I was in a daze. I didn’t know what to say, how to react. Stupor. My son was saying «come to your senses!» and I started screaming. The neighbors came running in. I was shaking. My glorious beloved brother was killed in his homeland by those who had decided to commit genocide against the Ukrainian people. He didn’t live to be 52 for a month. He was a peaceful man. He had never held a gun in his hands before the war. He was neither a fascist nor a Nazi, as the Russian propaganda lies about. He went to war to defend his family, his home.
— Did he die on the front line?
— His wife didn’t tell us anything right away. She was trying to protect our nerves. And it turned out he was wounded, incompatible with life. At the front. She couldn’t get in touch with him for a long time. She saw his photo in a Facebook group where the relatives were looking for the unidentified people. She recognized him. Came to the hospital. He died in her arms. Hers, and his daughter’s.
How can I relate after that to people who support all this horror that Russia has done?
— What was the wound?
— The shrapnel was in the head. Doctors said he would die without an operation. And with an operation he would die too. And so it happened. They lost their husband and father, and I lost my brother.
— Did your relationship to the Russians change after February 24th? After June 26th?
— I should hate them, but I don’t hate everyone, I know that not everyone are such stupid and inhuman monsters as those who support the extermination of the Ukrainians. That said, I feel sorry for those rare adequate people who exist in and out of Russia, afraid. If they rallied together, if they all stood together for the victory of common sense, of the Good, of Ukraine, then their word would carry weight. I have no prejudice against Russians, I have against those who openly support all the hell that Russia, led by the tyrant Putin, is causing. Like those kites in front of Faneromeni Church.
— There’s a lot of information circulating right now that you were with a knife that you threatened Russians with, is that true?
— I do housework at home all the time, I work in the kitchen. I constantly have a knife in my hands, so I didn’t notice how I ran out of the house with it. I was outraged and shaken to the core by the cynicism of these people. It was as if I had relived my brother’s death at the hands of such Rascists as those gathered outside my house.
I jumped out in a state of rage; after losing someone close to me, I’m understandable. I didn’t think about it, I ran out into the street as I was, with everything I had. And I was in the kitchen, cooking dinner, as I said, so I had a knife. But it wasn’t even a sharp knife, and it certainly wasn’t a weapon; it was a regular bread knife with teeth. It didn’t pose any threat to anybody. You can see it in the video!
But to be honest, I didn’t even register that fact at that moment. I was so outraged that they were celebrating Death, openly and mockingly, that I didn’t even notice what I was holding. Then I looked at it in the video.
— What happened when you came out?
— I was urging them to leave. I called them to conscience. I asked them how they could support the bloodshed. I screamed for them to stop. It hurts. It pains me, and others like me who have lost loved ones, to see them laughingly praising Putin’s regime and the war. Even here, in a European country, which they and their authorities so openly smear (if not worse) and hate. How can they be patriots of Russia, hate Europe and live here? How? It doesn’t make sense!
— Did you manage to disperse the crowd?
— No. It was all like a fog. I came to my senses in the car. Not a police car. A Volkswagen. Then they moved me. Brought me to the station. They took statements. I saw that they also took statements from the racists who were there. But I wondered why the policemen, who saw everything from outside, didn’t tell me under oath what had happened. They didn’t tell me that I hadn’t attacked anyone.
— The media wrote that you were intoxicated, is that true?
— No. They didn’t even take a breathalyzer test. Why not? Because if I was drunk, they were supposed to take a sample, record the number of ppm to provide evidence in court. And they didn’t. Why do you think that is? Probably because there was nothing to record.
— Were you released?
— No. They took me to jail. I spent the night there. Yesterday there was supposed to be a trial, but the judge wasn’t there and the trial was postponed to September 19. I had to sign an undertaking not to leave the country and they let me go. I hope that the Cypriot police will tell us what really happened in court.
— We hope so. Irina, is there anything else you want to add?
— Yes. I want to appeal to the Cypriot authorities. What are you looking at? They, Russia, will not stop at Ukraine, it is an insatiable hydra, which will go further! Look at Moldova, at Georgia! Now Ukraine! They are already openly announcing their imperial plans! They openly threaten Europe! Then they will get to Cyprus too! It is very sad that the government of Cyprus does not understand this and allows them to organize their rituals glorifying death!
Such «death festivals» are gradually being banned all over the world, I hope that soon the Republic of Cyprus will also have a taboo on fascist symbols, such as the flag of Russia. I would like to call on the government of Cyprus, to change! (Read, learn history, understand! Don’t encourage the brutal massacre, in which everyone can find themselves, regardless of their country of residence. Stop turning a blind eye to the fact that there are people in your country who openly support an aggressor country that you yourself have imposed sanctions on! These people are a danger to Cyprus!
— Thank you for your honesty. Take care.
— And you yourself. Glory to Ukraine.
— Glory to the heroes.
We will tell you how the trial will go and what the verdict will be on the Ukrainian woman Irina, who lost her brother, as soon as the information is available.
Obviously, what Irina did was a spontaneous protest by a loner.
So far there have been no such incidents. Ukrainians know how to control themselves.
However, we fear that with the growing number of people whose loved ones have been disabled, raped, robbed or killed by the Russian army, who have lost their homes, property, health or become refugees because of Russia, such incidents — solitary protests against the Russian plague — may increase.
Not all Ukrainians in a state of affect may not be able to avoid using force and weapons against those directly involved in their family tragedies.
On behalf of the editorial board we call upon the Cypriot authorities to prohibit the use of the symbols of fascist Russia on the territory of the European state of the Republic of Cyprus. In order to keep our beautiful island safe from conflict and to express our respect for the Ukrainians who pay with their lives in defense of Europe and the European values we share with you.
Lana Iermakova especially for Cyprus Daily News