“Hello” says Tatjana in Estonian. We met in a Cafe Shalom in Kyiv. She first visited Estonia in 2015, she has been here 3 times on a volunteer “Free Ukraine” courses. Tatjana has learned tactical medicine, she’s also a volunteer medic. She said she feels bad because she hasn’t been able to do anything for Ukraine.
This article was originally published in Estonian on this website, written by Vahur Laiapea. One section is an interview with my mother, who met my father when he organized anti-USSR protests in Kyiv. They continue to fight for their country. Here is the interview translated by a dear Estonian friend, Maria Amer.
During 2016-18 she taught tactical medicine to police officers. Sadly, 19 of them were killed by Russians.
All the students who died are very close to heart. Some of them were even Tatjanas friends. Andrei, a father of 2 kids, he defended Ukraine even before the big occupation began. He was an invalid-athlete due to his injuries in lifting and sports. He decided to go again this February and died during his first days there.
Greg, he also studied in Estonia, a war medic since 2015 in the Azov battalion. He saved a lot of lives, even a dog’s life that he found in Urzut. He put an IV drip in his veins, medicated and fed the dog, and he brought the dog to Kyiv, to Tatjana, and now Din is her neighbor. Whenever Tatjana sees Din, she starts to cry. Greg was killed this summer.
Tatjana also has a dog, or many. Bella was saved by her police students in 2019 in the Luhansk oblast.
In the next photo she is with Leia.
2 of Tatjanas war medics served in Azovstal as they protected Mariupol. They landed in jail. They are still there. One of them had also studied in Estonia. “They probably wouldn’t survive” says Tatjana. The more time they spend in jail, the smaller the chance there is to survive. Tatjana still hopes to see her friends alive.
Tetjana has relatives in Russia, the last time she talked to them was in 2014, she heard that they are living in the country side where the brown plague is ruling – fascism. During the same year in 2014 Tetjanas aunt called to ask for money. She invited Tetjana to help her bury uncle Tolja. He had also been in the war in Ukraine and was killed there. “I sent them there, where they sent the Russian warship” says Tetjana. “I’m also Russian.” She says with a small guilty voice. And I feel ashamed. It’s almost as if it’s her confession.
You can read the rest of the article, featuring other amazing people, here. If you don’t speak Estonian, Google Translate works pretty well!