They may not make international headlines, but these real-life, first-person stories offer insight into everyday life in Russia, Ukraine, Central Asia, and beyond that no news analysis can provide. Put a face on trends, policies, and events in Eurasia with profiles (in mostly chronological order) from My Story.
'If You Are Watching This...I'm Dead': Russian Doctor Documents Cancer Battle
Surgeon Andrei Pavlenko treated cancer patients in St. Petersburg, but his work took on a new dimension when he became a patient himself. In a widely viewed video diary, Pavlenko shared his experiences of going through treatment and encouraged others not to lose hope.
Russian LGBT Activist Faces Prison Time Over Social-Media Pages
Yulia Tsvetkova, an artist and activist in Russia's Far East, runs social-media pages focusing on women's art and LGBT issues. Her posts prompted officials to charge her with “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations among minors” and distributing pornography, an offense for which she could face years in prison.
Chechnya's Mail Carrier In Heels: Delivering A Message Of Self-Respect For Women
Thirty-six-year-old mail carrier Madina's profession, departure from an abusive marriage, and even high heels and short skirts appear to go against the grain of what many consider “appropriate” for women in conservative Chechnya, but she shows no sign of backing down.
Ukraine's Disabled Fashion Models Defy Stereotypes
Ukraine’s first modeling agency for the disabled hopes to make wheelchairs as acceptable as stilettos on local catwalks. In a country that, until recently, officially termed the disabled "invalids," that could prove a challenge. But 27 aspiring models in the city of Kharkiv are ready to take that challenge on.
A Woman's Heartbreak Over Brother On Death Row In Belarus
The sister of a convicted Belarusian murderer has told Current Time of her heartbreak after the country's Supreme Court upheld Viktar Paulau's death sentence for the killing of two elderly women. Paulau is one of three men sentenced to death this year in Belarus, which is the only European country still using capital punishment.
The Dukhobors, Georgia's Pacifist 'Spirit Warriors'
In Georgia, members of a small Christian sect called the Dukhobors preserve the faith they brought with them from Russia in centuries past. Their forebears were persecuted and exiled for their unconventional beliefs and refusal to serve in the army.
'Half-Naked And Barefoot': Chechens, Ingush Recall 1944 Deportations
In February 1944, Soviet leaders started forcibly deporting nearly half a million people from the Caucasus region to Central Asia. Seventy-five years later, survivors who remain in Kazakhstan spoke to Current Time about the lasting trauma of being torn from their homes and families.
The Human Touch
Age No Obstacle For Octogenarian Postal Worker On 48-KM Route
Eighty-two-year-old Yekaterina Dzalayeva has been delivering the mail for half a century in Russia's North Ossetia region. Memories of awaiting the mail during World War II fueled her dedication.The Internet has not diminished it. In this remote mountain community, it's the human touch that counts.
The Tragic Death Of Tomsk's Beloved Puppet Master
Tomsk's beloved puppeteer, Vladimir Zakharov, built and ran his own theater in the Siberian city after switching from robotics to puppetry in the 1990s. He died tragically in early February while trying to save his puppets after his workshop caught fire.
All Creatures Wild And Small: A Kyrgyz Man's Rescue Mission
A resident of Kyrgyzstan's capital, Bishkek, has persuaded the city authorities to give him land for a rehabilitation center for rescued wild animals. With the help of volunteers, he saves porcupines, raccoons, foxes, and other animals, and then releases them back them into the wild.