Yulia Nykolyn Юлія Николин

* 1957  

  • "We joined in the 90s because in the 90s we founded the "Ternopil Regional Society of Children of Political Prisoners and Repressed". It was the first society in Ukraine, it was not in Lviv yet. There was Mr. Drul Hryhoriy, he was very supportive of us, he was the chairman of the union of political prisoners and repressed people in Ternopil region. He was very supportive, he used to say, "Come on, I'll help you with what you need." What we did….We did interesting evenings of remembrance, dedicated to Yaroslav Stetsko, Stepan Bandera, the uprising in Kangir... Dedicated to prominent figures, and, of course, we took part in public work in the city, we looked for the burial of guerrillas, found those graves, described who, what, where, how, we talked to people in the villages. We collected information on where in the Ternopil region there are still children who were taken away with their parents or were born there; or children whose parents were taken away and the children stayed here because someone was hiding them. In this way, information was collected, collected so that it would remain for history so that it would be a memory, so that people would not forget about it, they would remember it. This was our main task. And we continue to work."

  • "I remember one moment... of course, my parents didn't tell me because he came late. I was wondering why my dad comes home so late, and he was constantly called by the KGB to be a snitch, to put people in jail, and so on. But my father was unbreakable, very strong. And once it was very late, 12 o'clock, and my mother said, let's get dressed and will walk towards him. We went out on the road, far beyond the village, we hear that someone is coming, my mother was already shouting: "Ivasiu, is it you", and he says, "Yes, Paranya, it's me", but in a voice, you know, suppressed voice. I was a child, I was six years old, but I just have it in front of my eyes. He approached us, we started to run, and he took my mother by the arm, and I see that he can barely walk. We came home, he said, "Heat the water because I need to wash, and you go to bed." We had one room and a kitchen. The kitchen was so small, maybe 2 meters long. Those people who lived there left, we lived for 9 months with my father's sister. I went to bed, but I was shaking, I felt that something was wrong with my dad. I covered myself with a featherbed and peeked through the doors to what was going on. And when Mom took off Dad's shirt, it was a shock. All the shoulders were solid blood, the stripes were purple and black. I didn't understand, I didn't know what it was, I didn't sleep all night. My mother took care of him, put a bowl, I remember that he began to cough up blood. I asked my mother in the morning what had happened, and she said, "You, baby, don't tell anyone, I beg you, our father was beaten, but I beg you: nowhere, don't tell anyone anything about it." I already had, you know, hatred for that system, for all that. I tried so hard to carry it through my whole life because my parents raised me that way."

  • "My mother came to her parents' special settlement. The father died after a year in Siberia... he was so worried about her, he had 4 sons and, my mother, his only daughter. He loved her very much, worried about her. He died of that grief. Only my grandmother was left and three sons, one was taken into the army, and then the Germans took him as a prisoner, so the eldest son Vasyl was not with them. My mother came there, the next day her passport was taken away from her, and they said that she has to stay at this special settlement, although they had no right to do so. When she started working there, there was a Russian, and he says: - Pasha, they had no right to take away your passport, write to Moscow, they will have to give your passport back. - How will I write it, if I send a letter from here, the KGB takes all the letters away. - I will go to Nevchynsk, and there I will send your letter. My mother wrote a letter, he helped her in this way, and then permission came from Moscow to give her a passport."

  • It was Easter, the boys were going from work, and the girls were going to work because there were night and day shifts. One boy recognized a girl from his village, took off his hat, greeted her: "Christ is Risen", and the girls answered together: "Truly He is Risen!" - and then the escort open fire at this line of men... 6 people died immediately, and 33 were seriously injured. This was probably the last straw, the people rebelled so much that they began to organize an uprising. The internal organization was headed, as people said, there was a poet Soroka. He must have led this uprising because he wrote the anthem of the Kangir's Uprising; and there was also Mykhailo Keller, from Drohobych. They organized a group of people who led this uprising. What they did: they broke through the wall. There were three zones in Kangir: the first zone was for women, the second and third for men. There was still a prison in the third zone. The prison was terrible... The prisons sells were for 1 person and were of a very small size - a person could only stand, it wasn't possible even to sit down... Pardon me, but people had to pee and poop only standing... Mom says then, as they broke down those walls, those 40 days as the uprising lasted, they could go there to see it. Camp management… The rebels drove them out of the zone and controlled everything there themselves. There was a priest from my mother's village who found her, by the way, I even have a photo of him, he is in the middle. He found her and said, "Parantsia, come on, I'll show you what they did to people, how they abused people." My mother says that when she went there, she couldn't stand it and just fainted. The walls were covered with blood, scary, just scary, she says, she was shaking.

  • Full recordings
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    Ternopil, Ukraine, 25.11.2020

    (audio)
    duration: 01:07:46
    media recorded in project Memory of Ukraine
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“We remain here - as continuation of our parents, a continuation of their history, their memory”

Baley in 1957, Yulia with parents
Baley in 1957, Yulia with parents
photo: Baley in 1957, Yulia with parents

Yuliya Ivanivna Nykolyn was born on April 14, 1957, in the city of Baley - Chita region, Russian Federation. Yuliya’s parents, Ivan Stets and Paraskeviya Stets (Dzibchak), were active participants in the Ukrainian liberation movement. Both the father’s and mother’s families were repressed and deported to special settlements. Paraskeviya’s mother was sentenced in 1945 to 10 years in prison. She served her sentence in three concentration camps - Arelyuk, Antibez, Kangir. Ivan and Paraskeviya met at a special settlement, where they got married and returned home in 1958 after the birth of their daughter, Yulia. For Yuliya, the stigma of birthplace in special settlements and parents as “enemies of the people” lasted a lifetime. In the early 1990s, Yuliya was one of the founders of the Ternopil Regional Society of Children of Political Prisoners and Repressed, she is retired now, continuing her public activities.