Greek seconded teacher, Pavlos Papadopoulos who had been living in Simferopol during the last nine years — the administrative center of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, southern Ukraine — talked to the Greek newspaper “TA NEA” about how he is experiencing the Ukrainian crisis.
“Before the crisis there were four Greek teachers. I teach in a multicultural school and in the Taurida National University,” he said. The estimates for the number of Greeks who currently live in Crimea differ. Some claim that they amount to 3,50o people while others claim that they reach 6,000. In the 80s they returned to Crimea, from Georgia and Kazakhstan, where they lived in exile, while many chose to return to Greece after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
However, Pavlos Papadopoulos decided to move to Simferopol, where he lives with his Ukrainian wife. As he said, most expatriates work as private employees, bakers, dentists or teachers.
Regarding his life since the crisis between Russia and Ukraine has broken out, he stated that it hasn’t changed his everyday life. “If someone had no access to the radio, television or the Internet, they wouldn’t know what was happening” he said. “Life in every neighborhoods continues normally. But I see that many locals and Greeks support the Russian side. When I ask my students what language they speak, most of them answer “Russian,” he added.