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"I Want My Life Back!"

April 6, 2022

Tanya is 31 years old and has just lost everything for the second time in her life. In 2014, her family fled Donetsk as pro-Russian separatists occupied the area. Now on February 24th, she fled Kyiv. All she wants is a return to normal life.


As Russian bombs began falling on Kyiv, Tanya and her husband Dima fled, leaving behind their apartment in the Ukrainian capital. A rucksack and a bag were all she could take. A few days later, she decided with a heavy heart to leave the country without her husband - anything to finally be safe. Men of fighting age are not allowed to leave Ukraine. Despite her pleas, Tanya was unable to persuade her parents and her grandmother to leave their home for a second time. They opted instead to remain in their small apartment, despite repeated missile attacks right in their vicinity. Tanya remembers the wonderful life she had in Kyiv - the joy of owning her own apartment, her sun-filled balcony, the frequent parties with friends, Sundays with her family. Having now reached safety in Germany, she’s desperately worried about her family, especially her beloved grandmother, whom she was named after. Tanya is doing all she can to persuade the German government to take action to save Ukraine. She addresses a rally in front of the Brandenburg Gate, carrying a poster that reads simply "I want my life back”. Words that express the sentiments of millions of Ukrainians right now - both those who have fled, and those left behind.

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About the show

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Close up — The Current Affairs Documentary

Our weekly half-hour program delivers in-depth reporting on topical political issues and newsworthy events. Revealing the story behind the stories, Close Up is informative, gripping and visually powerful.