Programmer Ekaterina Zyryanova, who lived in Kramatorsk, a war-torn city of the Donetsk region, for over 30 years, was forced to move to Western Ukraine to pursue a new life and career. She found a job in a Lviv (Lvov) based IT outsourcing company.
Zyryanova has been kind enough to share with Ukraine Digital News her harrowing experience of living in and relocating.
Which company did you come from, and how did the unrest affect your company’s work?
I came from a software development company called Global Fleet Management, which is located in Kramatorsk, in the Donetsk region. The company had to move to Chernigov when the unrest began. I didn’t want to move to Chernigov so I arranged with the director of my company to move to Lviv and work from there remotely. Fortunately, the existence of fast Internet and access to technical equipment there allowed me to work in such a manner.
How did the events affect you personally?
For more than two months we were living in constant nervous agitation, listening to the loud sounds of explosions. It was a terrible feeling to be at work and have your child in kindergarten while listening to the howls of sirens. I didn’t know at that moment what should I do: rush to my child and protect him or stay in the building until the danger was over. Armed people were all around the places where we used to walk and children used to play. Ugly, depressive flags with black-blue-red-stripes were being waived all around my city, and there were lots of dusty, messy road posts, which blocked traffic. I was scared to visit my mom and dad as they live close to Karachun, where the sounds of guns were really loud.
Ekaterina Zyryanova quickly found a new job at N-iX, a Lviv-based IT outsourcing company
Was your move to Lviv a personal or a corporate decision? When and how was this decision taken?
About year and a half ago I and my friends had a talk about relocating to another city. We came to a mutual agreement that the best city for a programmer to live and work in is Lviv. We decided so because this city is pretty and not as large as Kyiv (Kiev) or Kharkiv (Kharkov). After living for about 30 years in a small town this concerns me greatly.
Where and how did you find a job in Lviv?
I’ve got a new job here in Lviv at N-iX. The same position as before, as a front-end developer. They took me because I meet their requirements, I guess.
What about your family or relatives?
Almost all of my friends and relatives were out of town during the Anti-Terrorist Operation. When the terrorists [see Editor’s note] left the town, my relatives came back. They are in Kramatorsk now and I miss them very much. Mom and dad didn’t want to leave their house because they had domestic animals (dog, cats, hens) and a garden to look after. I’m glad they are safe.
How do you envision the future of Donbass in general, and do you think it will be easy to reconstruct the local IT industry when the unrest is finished?
I hope Donbass will be freed soon. A lot of good and clever people live there and it will be easy to recover its IT industry.
Editor’s note: The term “terrorists” refers to the pro-Russian insurgents in Eastern Ukraine. “Anti-Terrorist Operation” is the name given by the Ukrainian government to the operation aiming to combat the insurgency.
Ukraine Digital News expresses particular gratitude to the press service of N-iX for their assistance in preparing this interview.