For Old Ukrainians, Russia’s Invasion Echoes World War II Trauma – Generic English

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“I was growing up in Velyka Oleksandrivka during the occupation,” she recalled, referring to a village in the Kherson region. “The Germans evicted us. We had a small, simple house in the center. They lived there. We moved to another house close to the forest.”

Eight decades later, it was Russian soldiers who came to her home. “They asked me to show my passport,” said Ms. Nikitenko, now 88. “I went to find it. One opened it, looked at it and said, ‘Get a Russian passport.’”

She declined. “I love Kherson and Ukraine.”

She did accept money given by the Russians, as she was no longer receiving her pension. It made her feel like a traitor, she said, “but how else would I survive?”

During World War II, Kharkiv, in northeastern Ukraine, changed hands four times in pitched battles that demolished most of the city. Now, many buildings lie in ruins once again as shelling by Russian forces continues.

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