Transcarpathian Gypsies, who have settled in Kiev, are afraid to be killed by fans of "Euro-2012"
On the left bank, near Bereznyakovskaya street, a large encampment of Roma has stopped just below the railway. In the middle of the metropolis among millionaires and expensive cars, they live in poverty, insanitary conditions, they cook food on fire and take water from the nearest car wash. The encampment of 70 people moved to the capital two months ago from Transcarpathia, and now they live in shacks near the landfill.
Gypsies are not washed, earn 200 hryvnia per month and for the period of Euro they will leave the capital – they are afraid that fans will kill them. We learnt about the Gypsies who stopped in Kiev on one of the forums. Local residents wrote that Roma had set half a dozen tents, bonfires and were having fun. "Segodnya" went in search of unexpected guests.
"Are you looking for gypsies? - We asked a man in a garage cooperative. - They are over there, behind the trees." We took a path to get to the camp. We must admit it was somewhat scary to go down to the ravine - from a distance one could see crowds of children, hovels, a terrible stench and some women washing dishes in dirty water. Having fought our fear, we came to the encampment.
"And where are tents and Gypsies? – we asked women. Here are the tents, and we are Gypsies"- they answered. As it turned out, in fact, it is hard to call their tents homes. The shelter is made of old mattresses and blankets found in landfills. About two dozen children are running around them - all half-naked and dirty. The fire is lit, where in the pot something green is being cooked. A young gypsy woman is washing dishes in a dirty bowl with black water.
"We take the water from the car wash. There are good, kind people there and they help us. We do not take bath because we have nowhere to do that – starts a conversation a gypsy named Lyudmila. – We cook everything on fire. We buy soup sets. We don’t have money for something more". She has five children. In total there are 50 gypsies in encampment. More than half of them are kids. "There used to be 70 of us, but some went away in search of better life" - the woman said.
"We lived in a clay house in the outskirts of Uzhgorod. There are no jobs, everybody is hungry - says the head of the family Nikolay. - "Barons" kept taking away humanitarian aid and opened shops. If you say you don’t like something – you will get a bullet in your head, so we left".
We asked what they do for a living in the capital. "We collect scrap metal and paper. This is our only source of income. Previously, I worked on building sites - plastered, made roofs. But I was deceived, they didn’t pay any money, only to get home. But nobody can deceive me about metal", - says Nikolay.
One Gypsy earns 200-300 UAH a month. "Children have never eaten ice cream. No one helps us, we are not wanted, unfortunately. We are defenseless", - says Ludmila.
Although this camp is not similar to what we are used to see in movies, there is the elder here. "This is an old man who decides who needs to eat more, and who may starve" - say the Roma.
They dispel the myth that they have come to make some money at Euro-2012, and then show their ignorance about the situation in the country. "We do not beg. Our grandmothers, old gypsies may do that, but not we. And for the period of Euro we’ll leave. Because when their team loses, the fans will crash cars and kill people. And we will be killed too, so we are afraid and we will go away... ", - said Roma.
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