The 6 minutes long news report called “A Russian asks Zelensky for Ukrainian citizenship in hope of finding happiness with her partner” was aired on Rossia-24 state TV channel on April 29, 2019. They did all this without a single word from us.
Rossia-24 is a state-owned Russian news channel. It covers major national and international events as well as focuses on domestic issues. It is owned by VGTRK.
ANCHORMAN: Vladimir Putin advised Vladimir Zelensky to begin with Georgians, not Russians in his response to Ukraine’s president elect’s promise to issue Ukrainian passports to all Russian citizens and to anybody who is willing to fight for freedom.
In this light Russian leader suggested to give back Ukrainian passport to ex-Georgian, Mikhail Saakashvili. But, speaking seriously, Mr. Putin welcomed this kind of passport exchange between Moscow and Kiev.
PUTIN: I said many times that Ukrainian and Russian peoples are friends and even more. I think it is actually one nation. Just with some local cultural characteristics, with some different historic features. But in essence it is one single nation.
ANCHORMAN: Later Vladimir Putin added that Russians and Ukrainians will only become stronger with dual citizenship.
PUTIN: If Ukraine will be issuing passports to Russian citizens and we will be granting citizenship and passports to Ukrainians then sooner or later we will reach the expected outcome – everybody will have one unified citizenship. I very much welcome this. See you (in Ukrainian).
ANCHORMAN: Now, all that’s left is to find Russians who dream of becoming Ukrainians.
Last year, there was only 126 of them. Yet in 2018 83 thousand Ukrainians have received Russian passports. Demand speaks for itself. Still, there are those who want to become Ukrainians. Only Ukrainian passport in Russian hands is posed as a protest. And the very first address to president Zelensky only confirms such a stance.
ANCHORMAN: Elizaveta Khoromtsova is in the studio now. Good evening.
There is apperantly a Russian woman who has already written a letter to Zelensky?
ANCHORWOMAN: Yes, and she assures that only in this country she can be truly free.
Elena Ivanova and her loved one, a Canadian citizen, Meg, don’t actually have much to do with Kiev. The two women, who met online, got together there in person for the first time. From Ukraine’s capital the couple flew to Turkey and from there by a sailboat, no less, they ventured for Canada.
Now Elena in her open letter to Ukraine’s president, Vladimir Zelensky, states that “citizenship in this country will give me safety and land where I and the person I love can be together.”
COMMENTATOR 1, political annalist: Dual citizenship isn’t recognized by Ukraine. Though many Ukrainian politicians have passports from different countries it is still against to the law. I don’t know if Zelensky will attempt to break the law.
ANCHORWOMAN: As for the possibility of having a happy same-sex family in Ukraine there isn’t much good news in this area either. Gay parade participants are being attacked by nationalists in Ukraine. Same-sex marriage is illegal and it’s possibility isn’t going to be considered even in the far future.
COMMENTATOR 2, human rights activist: Nothing prevents them from getting married in Canada for instance. Same-sex marriage is legal there. They can also get married somewhere in Europe. As two foreigners. For instance in Denmark. As Russian, she also can ask for protection if she is being persecuted.
ANCHORWOMAN: The two adventurers also don’t consider Odessa to be the kind of a port where the sweethearts would want to dock their yacht.
They are being advised to go to Australia and New Zealand with their amazing nature and liberal laws. There are also good options in Europe.
COMMENTATOR 3, traveler: I would recommend Netherlands. They have great ports, absolutely loyal authorities. But the best thing to do, of course, is to calm down, to take more traditional stance and then all ports of the world will meet the yacht of these dubious women with open arms.
ANCHORWOMAN: When one listens to Elena talking about her fascinating love for Meg one can’t help but recall a Brazilian soap opera or a trashy romance novel from a news stand.
There is everything in her story: evil parents who came to Kiev to drag her back to Ivanovo. There is also a brave friend, who retrieved the document from them and brought it to Elena. There are nasty Canadian bureaucrats who don’t allow women to realize their rights.
COMMENTATOR 4, famous Russian novelist #1: This story very much looks like a screenplay for an Bollywood film. Vilans come out of wood work only if love is mind-boggling. Here we have astouning love so mother and father crush onto the scene and steal her passport. The events are so crazy. Then she somehow manages to stay (in Ukraine). Then some girlfriend retrieves her passport. If her parents stole it, they would never give it up.
ANCHORWOMAN: Famous romance writers advise Elena: “if you want to impress Ukraine’s elected president you should pay more attention to the facts.”
COMMENTATOR 5, famous Russian novelist #2: There is a lot of dynamics here, still, the reader can sense deception. And of course I would like it to look more like true life. Because the events are, indeed, extraordinary. It’s just way over the top.
ANCHORWOMAN: Elena and her partner don’t even try to hide the fact that they have a fancy for creative writing. On the very website where they posted Elena’s address to Zelensky they place their books where they write about their love, freedom and their sea wandering that has been going for 12 years already.
However, it looks like there is way too much water in their lives. This is what Elena says in her address: “Dear Ukraine, let Meg and I come back from the sea and return home.”
ANCHORWOMAN: Only it is unclear what would become of this story of love if one was to rid of water (lies) not just Elena’s life but also her writing?