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RT interviews Avdeevka family that refused evacuation to Ukraine

The Zamoras remained in the city throughout intense fighting between Russian and Ukrainian forces

RT has spoken to the Zamora family, who have recently been evacuated from the city of Avdeevka in Russia’s Donetsk People’s Republic. For two years, the family remained in their home despite brutal fighting between Russian and Ukrainian forces for control of the key Donbass city. 

Formerly a major Ukrainian stronghold, Avdeevka was liberated by Russian troops last month. They have since repelled nearly a dozen counteroffensive attempts by Kiev’s forces. 

Polina, the matriarch of the Zamora family, explained to RT’s Marina Kosareva that they had chosen not to evacuate from the city or receive help from the Ukrainian authorities, despite regular shelling. The family survived by hiding in their basement, relying on a local store, and even managing to provide for themselves by planting potatoes in their garden, Polina explained.  

“We didn’t want to leave our home,” Polina said, stressing that the family had not wanted to move “somewhere unknown, where nobody needs us.” Another crucial reason to remain was their child, Dima. According to Polina, “since we are Russian-speaking, he would have been brainwashed in [a Ukrainian] kindergarten very quickly and made into a Nazi.” 

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Polina also shared stories of how so-called “white angels” – a special Ukrainian police unit – moved around the city, forcibly taking children from their families. In one case, a mother was allowed to leave with her children, although the husband was not told where they were going, Polina said.  

Families who refused to give up their children to Ukrainian authorities and decided to stay in the city faced potential prosecution for “putting a child at risk,” she added. 

When Russian forces arrived in Avdeevka last month after driving out Ukrainian troops, Polina said she and her family breathed a sigh of relief, knowing they were closer to returning to a peaceful life. 

Polina’s husband, Denis, explained that they had never wanted to leave their home to move to Ukraine, but once Moscow’s forces entered the city, they decided to temporarily evacuate to Russia. 

The Zamora family is now staying in Moscow until the situation in Avdeevka settles down and they can return. 

Watch the full interview here:

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