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I am a Russian writer of Armenian origin living in Germany, that is how you can describe me. And I don't think about nationality until disaster strikes. When Azerbaijan and Turkey attack Armenia, I immediately remember that I am Armenian. On the other hand, I am a Russian writer, and I do not write in any other language.

The most striking thing about this war is the hatred for one's own people. The horrors of the Holocaust or the Armenian genocide are unbearable, but it was the extermination of the "outsiders". Now the horror is that the people are bombing themselves, how can they hate themselves so much. It is incomprehensible brutality and self-loathing. This war is self-destruction.

I had realized that I could not live in Russia even before Putin came there. I left in 1994, went to Germany on a scholarship. I thought this was temporarily, but then I realized I wasn't coming back. Moscow was pushing me out. When I had had a child in Russia, my first worry was, when they said it was a boy, how to keep him out of the army.

When the war broke out, I, like many others, ran to help the refugees. It was the only thing one could do to avoid being torn apart by horror, by pain, by compassion.

A few times I went to the main railway station to meet refugees. Surprisingly, it turned out that in the main (Berlin) railway station - which was conceived as such a cool project, 5-floor architectural wonder - there was only one toilet.

It turned out to be important just to meet people, they were confused, there was a desire to warm them up, they were going into the unknown, without speaking the language, they didn’t understand what they were about to face.

Now everyone has refugees living at their homes in Berlin. The word 'our refugees' has come up. We say, „we go to register our refugees", "we are taking our refugees to the doctor".

This war is also indicative of the other side: we see how absolute evil has started it. There is no more "it's not all that clear-cut". There have been cases like this in history before, but back then there was no modern media, people far removed from military territories didn’t have to experience this evil so intimately.

It is impossible to forget the photos of killed civilians in Bucha, left in the middle of the road with their hands tied. It is impossible to forget the blood-soaked soft children's toys left lying outside the railway station in Kramatorsk.

I want an immediate Ukrainian victory, that will free not only the Ukrainians but also the Russians who have been held hostage by their insane ruler”.

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