After a train accident, Marina flees to Berlin

10.01.2023 | cb — No comments

She can hardly remember what happened when the war started. Marina was hit by a train and since then her memory does not work properly any more. She also can’t hear anything, so she wasn’t aware of the explosions around her at all. Our friend and activist Iryna Hanenkova asked Marina to tell us her story.

I didn’t even realise that Russia had started a war against my country. I am deaf, like my parents. We simply couldn’t hear the air raid and the explosions.

I don’t remember much about what happened on 24 February. It is a long time ago and I find it difficult to remember anything in general. On 17 December last year, I got hit by a train, and since then I’ve had a lot of trouble with my memory.

Marina Ivanenko. Photo: private

I think I was afraid for my family. Everything we read in the news, everything that happened in Odesa at the beginning of the war, made us afraid. That’s why my mother decided to take us out of the country as early as 8 March.

She said that the army needed the hospital now more than I did, and after all, I had to go to rehab after the train accident. Germany has a good health system and now we are here.

We left the dog behind

It was very hard for me to give up my home. We had to leave our dog with the neighbours, who always helped us a lot. For example, when we needed an ambulance, we ran to them. We can’t communicate on the phone. I hope our dog doesn’t think we’ve forgotten him. I hope he is well.

Marina Ivanenko. Photo: private

I am very grateful to Germany and especially to people in Berlin for the help and support we have received. We have been here for several months and hope for the victory. We want to return and live in a free Ukraine. 

This is how you can help

Individual help

Munich Kyiv Queer has its own fundraising campaign via to support people in Ukraine like Marina who are not organised in the local LGBTIQ*-groups. We can help fast, directly and unbureaucratically.

Help for LGBTIQ* organisations

To support LGBTIQ* in Ukraine we have helped set up the Alliance Queer Emergency Aid Ukraine, in which around 40 German LGBTIQ* Human Rights organisations are involved. All these groups have access to very different Human Rights organisations in Ukraine and use funds for urgently needed care or evacuation of queer people. Every donation helps and is used 100 percent to benefit queer people in Ukraine. Donate here


Housing for queer refugees from Ukraine

LGBTIQ* often have seen discrimination in their lifes, therefore queer refugees are particularly vulnerable. Many are traumatised and now they experience re-traumatisation on the run. We want to offer them a home where they feel comfortable and can live without fear. Depending on availability, we rent two-, three-, four- or five-room flats and sublet them to people in need as shared flats. Our association does not have any funding yet, so we depend on donations. For example, we have to advance rent and deposits until the State’s job centres step in.

Donate here:
Münchner Bank eG
IBAN DE16 7019 0000 0003 1425 66
Munich Queer Homes e.V.


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