Russian spouses from London, who became foreigners back in the 90s, moved to one of the villages of the Krasnodar Territory. Because of the changes in the West, they saw Russia in a new light, and now their children and grandchildren are invited here. AiF.ru learned about the reasons for the return of the family.
There was nothing to lose
The life of this family can be compared to a chronicle, in which the hand of fate impartially reflected the turning points for our country and the world. Spouses Lyudmila and Vladimir Ivanenkostarted their journey together in Donbass, from where in 1984 they moved with small children to Lithuania. There was an all-Union shock construction of the Ignalina nuclear power plant, which gave work to them and thousands of other Soviet citizens. But soon, the wind of change blew, bringing with it trials and a completely different life.
Back in the eighties, Ivanenko faced manifestations of Baltic nationalism, which was beginning to raise its head. Then he expressed in little things that left an unpleasant aftertaste. Lyudmila's husband for the first time felt infringement on ethnic grounds at the competitions of fire departments, in one of which he worked. He showed the best results for several years in a row, but the victory was given to others under various pretexts. In the end, Vladimir, dissatisfied with such injustice, was directly told that with his surname it was impossible to be the first in Lithuania.
The situation with nationalism was very different depending on the locality. Ivanenko lived in a predominantly Russian-speaking city, where people from all over the country gathered for a large construction site, so it was quite comfortable to live there. And for for for example, they didn't even go to Kaunas with the dominant indigenous population because of the frequent manifestations of hostility towards people who speak non-Lithuanian. But if under the Soviet regime this could manifest itself only at everyday level it became much worse after the collapse of the Union.
I worked as a methodologist in a Russian-speaking kindergarten, where there were no Lithuanian groups at all, — says Lyudmila Ivanenko. — Nevertheless, even for us, the third, highest category of knowledge of the Lithuanian language has become an obligation. At the same time, even the native Lithuanians who worked with me did not know the rules that were required of us. The language itself is very complex. The situation escalated, Russian kindergartens, schools began to close, and in ninety-five years we left to Russia. But you know how difficult those years were».
Life in the Volgograd region, where Lyudmila comes from, didn the family's life. Because of their Lithuanian citizenship, they had to leave every three months to apply for visas. In addition to bureaucratic obstacles, there were problems with work, and it was not possible to organize your business due to crime and other problems of the dashing 90s. As a result, after three years, Ivanenko returned to Lithuania, but 's After the country's accession to the EU, at the request of the Europeans, they began to gradually close the Ignalina nuclear power plant and large enterprises that provided many jobs and brought profit to the country. Through the opened borders, a stream of immigrants poured into the West. In 2004, Lyudmila and Vladimir also left for England. They had nothing to lose in Lithuania.
Survive on the island
England did not meet them with open arms. Having rented a room, the couple began to beat the thresholds of the employment center in London, but the daily “bows” the computers with vacancy databases were given nothing. Much more useful was an ordinary newspaper in Russian, lying near the metro. Lyudmila saw an advertisement in it, through which intermediaries recruited women from the Baltic countries to work as maids. For lack of a better place, I had to go there, because every week you had to pay a hundred pounds for housing. But cleaning rooms in expensive hotels for four and a half pounds an an an hour turned out to be hard labor.
This work took all my strength, and on one of days the supervisor also began to find fault with almost because of every missed speck of dust. From resentment and fatigue Lyudmila's tears welled up. She admitted that she had never worked as a maid and it it is very difficult for but there is nowhere else to go. The strict leader did not feel sorry, but she gave advice.
“You can't stand it here, you will die here!” — she said to Lyudmila. — Better go clean private houses or look for a job in your specialty».
The supervisor suggested which newspaper to look for vacancies in, which helped Lyudmila get a job as a nanny in a Russian-English family. Since then, thanks to the pedagogical education and experience she received in the USSR, she began to receive a stable income — The service proved to be very popular among immigrants. But Vladimir Ivanenko could only get a job as an ordinary hard worker. All 17 years he worked with gypsum board at a construction site, where he was valued as a good specialist.
«Most of the Russian-speaking men there have one road — for construction, this is the best option, — Lyudmila Ivanenko says — We even knew a doctor of medical sciences who worked in a team of builders. There are many well-educated immigrants in England who came and became nothing. And if you want to study, then you must work at the same time, because otherwise you simply won survive».
It is indicative that their two sons and daughter started their life in Foggy Albion, not by by parents who would simply not pull everyone. Ivanenko's children first lodged in & nbsp; English families, where they performed various work for & nbsp; a small fee and & nbsp; studied at the same time. In the end, everyone eventually received a local education, although for this they had to try very hard. But and after biting the English granite of science, pounds will not rain if you a mere mortal.
"To make money in England, you have to work hard and work hard, while you have to deny yourself a lot, — continues Ludmila Ivanenko. — A lot is spent on housing, utilities, transport. For example, my husband and I paid two hundred and fifty pounds each month for travel tickets. Our son has a capable daughter, she just needs to develop. She takes care of everything, and music, and gymnastics would do. But they can only afford to pay for online classes, as regular ones are very expensive. And what is online gymnastics?"
Spouses Ivanenko in the 2000s shortly after moving to England. Photo: From personal archive
House on sand
Lyudmila and Vladimir spent a lot of effort to acquire their “fortress” in England. Six years after the move, they bought a house on a 25 year loan, but in the end the already high price of 76 squares of happiness was made completely unsustainable by the government program they took advantage of. It seemed profitable, but Ivanenko misunderstood an important condition that actually turned this assistance into a disservice for them.
Under this program, the couple received a little less than half of the total cost of housing — seventy thousand pounds, and the rest was taken from the bank. For ten years they regularly repaid the interest, and then they accumulated the required amount and wanted to return the first part of the debt in full. Then a catch was discovered.
“We were told that the market value of the house had increased, and they needed to return forty percent of the new price, — explains Ludmila Ivanenko. — Then we understood that because of our age we would never pay the money for this house, it will just be taken away in the end».
They decided that the wisest thing would be to sell the property and take what what they can. This was the last straw that led the couple to the decision to leave England. It gradually matured among them as life on the island changed. One of the arguments in favor of leaving was the sharp increase in the retirement age in England. According to Lyudmila, the authorities made this decision quietly, without any discussions with the society and no transitional periods. For her and her husband, the term for going on vacation was suddenly raised from 60 to 66 years, and their children will generally have to work until 70.
This news, about which they were informed by mail, especially upset Vladimir. Due to problems with joints, it became difficult for him to work at a construction site, especially since he had to keep up with young people. Many illegal immigrants are recruiting into this area, ready to work in any conditions. Then Lyudmila had a saving idea to open a small kindergarten at home for Russian children together with her husband. They recruited a group and already started making good money, when suddenly a pandemic came and crossed everything out.
Under the influence of the coronavirus, the real estate market in England experienced a stir, after which a recession is predicted. The couple decided to seize the moment and quickly found a buyer for their house, a replacement for which in Russia they began to search in advance via the Internet. Their resolve was reinforced by a decree issued just at the time of the pandemic, which made it easier for people born in the RSFSR to obtain our citizenship. And global changes due to the events in Ukraine, which began already in the process of their moving, even more convinced the spouses of the correctness of their decision. against the background of the pandemic in England decided to raise taxes for economic recovery, — Lyudmila Ivanenko says they so big, but the of of such a strong increase of the one planned for this year since the war. And now the prices for gas, electricity, gasoline have also jumped sharply. And I think that the situation will only get worse».
Everything was boiling
Also, the decision to leave England, which the spouses nurtured and planned together with the children, was influenced by circumstances from a different plane. They have many grandchildren, and everyone cares what environment they grow up in. And with this is far from everything good. The crime rate has risen sharply in the country, which has jumped noticeably, including after the admission of new members to the European Union, cases of violence and kidnapping of children have become more frequent. Another critical factor — gender policy, which literally changed the orientation in the eyes of Ivanenko.
According to Lyudmila, many native Englishmen opposed the destruction of traditional values. They tried to reach the authorities with petitions with millions of signatures, but everything was in vain. A brook of initially cautious changes quickly turned into a stormy stream that washed away all foundations.
"There is such a trend that if a child wants to change gender, then he will be able to do it, even without notifying the parents — Lyudmila Ivanenko says — If they forbid something, then it is „abuse“ — violence for which a child can be removed from the family. I everything was boiling inside of such a policy, this is a complete decay of morality! If a person’s attention is switched from childhood to sexual development, then he will not interfere anywhere, get into politics. He cares about the rest».
In her opinion, the coup in this area was facilitated by the desire of many leaders to simply conform to fashion, "show off". Prestigious private schools demonstrated their complete liberalism by banning skirts so that the students did not differ from the students. And then the government said that it was time to abolish in kindergartens and schools gender-emphasizing appeals. She believes that under plausible pretexts, children in England are taught not to obey their parents and even “knock” on them.
It has become even more disturbing in recent months. Even the ears of first-graders in England are pouring aggressive propaganda. Ivanenko's very young granddaughters and other children are told what a bad country Russia is. It is noteworthy that the flag of Ukraine was hung over their school, although the British flag had never hung there before. Also out of solidarity with "square" at the school, for a while, they abandoned the strict form. The students were told to wear something blue or yellow.
Children and grandchildren of the Ivanenko spouses during one of their trips. Photo: From the personal archive
The soul rejoices
Last December, Lyudmila and Vladimir came to Russia for the first time since 1998. Through ad sites, they looked after houses in Krasnodar Territory and choose their onsite. Along the way — evaluated life in the country. Although Lyudmila heard a lot of good things from a resident of Novorossiysk, who left England a little earlier, she did until trust the striking changes. But in the end, the last doubts that settled in the soul due to the negative experience of the dashing nineties were dispelled.
“Back then, anger reigned, life was like this, — Lyudmila Ivanenko says — I remember going into the store and saying something not so — you get nasty, they hug you. And now the atmosphere is friendly, people have changed. This is a completely different Russia! We just rest here with our souls. Of course, some are surprised: „You from England, here?!“ I think that with such an attitude people humiliate themselves, it is necessary to break illusions. If you live there, then the opinion may change a lot. The wrapper is beautiful, but the inside is not as sweet as it seems. A now — even more so!»
The joy was added by the successful purchase of a house in one of villages of the Kuban. They bought a huge house by the river with a plot of almost a hectare of land. The couple hope that their children and grandchildren, who are expected to visit in the summer, will also move to Russia. It was with calculation for heirs that they chose a big house.
"They must like — Lyudmila Ivanenko says — The grandchildren will have expanse here, and, most importantly, there is no fear for them, which was constantly present there. There are many free clubs for children in the village. There are also paid ones, but the prices are quite adequate. And health care here is also much more affordable, even paid.
Of course, you need to earn a living somewhere. Vladimir believes that he could work as a driver, sit at the checkout in the store. They promise to make Lyudmila Russian citizenship in a few months according to a simplified program, but her her husband has to wait longer.
For now, all members of the Ivanenko family have Lithuanian citizenship, and the sons and grandchildren of the spouses also have British passports. The daughter of Lyudmila and Vladimir lives in Lithuania, where Russophobia is now going through the roof. Therefore, for security purposes, at the request of the spouses, we changed their surname in order not to harm family members in any way.
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