Don’t envy others and don’t take from others for yourself
Ludmila Dejneka was born on 17 February 1952 into the family of an ethnic Czech journalist and a Ukrainian shop assistant. In 1947 her father, Václav Topinka, was condemned as a Ukrainian nationalist and sentenced to death; his sentence was later reduced to 25 years of prison. In the end he spent more than 11 years in Soviet labour camps. After his release, he was barred from returning home to his family, and so his family moved to reunite with him in the Komi Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic. They lived there until 1968, when they were finally allowed to move to western Ukraine. Ludmila Dejneka studied chemical engineering at the Lviv Polytechnic Institute, where she also met her future husband. Upon graduating in 1974, she spent ten years as a laboratory assistant at a military ceramic factory. Starting in 1983 she served in the Soviet - later Ukrainian - army for fourteen years. As an expert in technical security, she achieved the rank of sergeant major. After leaving the army she worked as a children’s nurse and then as a methodologist at the Polytechnic Institute. She retired in 2012. She currently chairs the Czech expatriate association Česká beseda in Lviv. Ludmila Dejneka is a widow, she has one daughter and lives in Lviv.