Representative of Vayfond – about rescuing Chechens from Russia
The charity organization Vayfond (Sweden) came into the spotlight in 2017. Its key priority is assistance to refugees from the Chechen Republic. Ukraine is the first country for many asylum-seekers persecuted in Russia. The organization representative Tatyana Bondarenko told about assistance to refugees from the North Caucasus, as well as about the goals and objectives of the Ukrainian foundation Kavkaz.Realii.
Аuthor: Anwar Derkach
Rescuing from imminent death
– When did you find out about Vayfond and their activity?
– This summer. My friend from Austria works there.
– What attracted you in this organization?
– It protects human rights in a region where people suffer from occupation and unlawfulness. Persecution of people for political and religious views or just for disloyalty to the regime is outrageous. Commonly, the help of Vayfond for these people means rescuing from imminent death.
– What do you do at this job?
– Comprehensive assistance to persons under Vayfond care, who are located in Ukraine. From legal support to solving everyday problems.
– What are you and how does it help you in working with refugees?
– I am majoring in a Financial Accounting. Things help me are general skills that I learned at work and knowledge of languages.
– How did your family react to the decision to work for the Vayfond?
– Positively, as well as to all my undertakings. In addition, I continue to work in my major field.
– Prior to work at Vayfond, did you come across Nakhs, have an idea about the problems of refugees from Chechnya, the North Caucasus?
– I was lucky to have friends among the Nakhs, my paternal great-grandfather is from Dagestan. I am interested in the events of the North Caucasus, and I had an idea of what was happening in the region and the problems that refugees faced.
– Is there a representative office of Vayfond in Ukraine, or do you work alone?
Security forces are trusted and refugees are given away
– What government authorities of Ukraine do you have to work with and what are the difficulties of communication with them?
– Prosecution Service, Migration Service and Court. The difficulty is that refugees’ rights are neglected. Despite the war between Russia and Ukraine, these two countries have agreements on refugees from Russia, primarily from the Caucasus. It is strange that Ukrainian official institutions believe the accusations of the Russian Federation against refugees from the Caucasus, while Ukrainian citizens are imprisoned in Russian prisons for trumped-up charges.
Beside Caucasians, we work with refugees from other regions too. For example, Dinar Minkayev from Tatarstan. He has nothing to do with Syria, although he was accused of this because of his collaboration with Abu Umar Sasitlinsky (a Dagestan Salafi-oriented preacher who was forced to leave Russia because of the persecution of the security services). We fear that Dinar Minkaev will be extradited to Russia.
– Do the people needing help find you or do you look for them?
– People find us themselves and ask for help. , The information reliability on each case is carefully checked. Vayfond helps only those people who have not committed crimes and is a real refugee.
– Among your wards are there people who remain in Russia or only those who have already left?
– The goal of most cases is to stop extradition in the Russian Federation, where the refugees are in mortal danger. But among the Vayfond wards, there are some people who are seeking to leave Russia or have been deported there.
– Pull a person out of the Putin regime’s clutches – is there any excitement in that? Do you put your work on scale of the war going now?
– I do not feel any excitement. The most strong feeling is anger from injustice towards a specific person and family and towards all Nakhs. I worry about the fate of each refugee, but at the same time, I focus on methods for solving problems, I think, how to help. Ukraine and Chechnya have a common enemy and a common pain. More than anyone else, Ukrainians understand what the Chechens are going through, especially now when there is a war.