MUDr. Natalia Chutorskaja

* 1955

  • “Generally, there is no justification for any war. Any war is wrong and it’s a disaster. Yet, speaking of the war between the Russian nation… between Russia and Ukraine, it is an utterly absurd affair of cosmic proportions; it’s some kind of madness, a disorder. My country has gone crazy.”

  • “During my first year here, I parked my car the wrong way and, of course, got fined. I had to go to the police station to pay the fine. My daughter Ira said: ‘Why, mum, it’s your birthday today!’ I said: ‘Ira, I want to go to the police station today, so that when someone asks me: ‘How did you spend your birthday?’, I can answer: ‘At a police station.’ I was joking. The funniest moment came when they asked for my documents, my passport, and then congratulated me. ‘It’s your birthday today, madam?’ – ‘Yes, it is.’ – ‘Well, many happy returns, then! Um, and can you pay 200 crowns?’ That’s humanity. It’s present in your country. Yours is a humane state. Cherish it, and cherish your human relationships regardless of any problems there may be, of which you probably know more than I do, and I’m not in the position to speak about them.”

  • “My mum’s friends came to visit. Their husbands had all flown away. Where did they go? What were they going to save? Czechoslovakia? Save from what? They turned on a western TV channel, and of course we children saw it all. We saw Wenceslas Square in Prague with tanks rolling along, our soldiers in the tanks, and bystanders throwing whatever they could find at them and yelling: ‘Ivan, go home!’ That was a disaster. The visit to a concentration camp was children’s prattle in comparison. As children, we saw that our Soviet soldiers were not defenders, that nobody invited or asked them – people actually threw things at them and cursed them. I see those images to this day when I close my eyes.”

  • “If you wish, I’ll tell you what amazes me the most about Czechia. I’m a driver; I can drive – in fact I have to drive a lot now that we no longer live in Brno. Think about Klobouky near Brno where we live now. That’s 2,500 citizens, give or take 100 people. In their area, in any other small village, small town or city, there is a memorial with the photographs, names, and dates for fellow citizens who perished in World War I. Seeing that moves me to tears. Memory is one of the values of human life, preserved for not just years but centuries. I come from a complete family, not from a children’s shelter, yet there’s very little I could tell you about my ancestors.”

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    Brno, 26.01.2023

    délka: 02:19:08
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My country has gone crazy

Head of a clinic in Tolyatti, Russia, circa 2010
Head of a clinic in Tolyatti, Russia, circa 2010
zdroj: Archiv pamětníka

Natalia Nikolaevna Khutorskaya was born on 8 September 1955 in the village of Novolabinskaya in southern Russia, some 100 km of aerial distance from the Georgian border. Her parents, Nikolai Vasilyevich Segedenko and Valentina Mikhailovna Malyuchenko, both came from the same steppe region of Kuban, which is rife with centuries of history of Ukrainian Cossacks. Her mother was a first stage teacher in primary school all her life and her father was an air force pilot. Due to his occupation, the family moved often, so Natalia got to know various parts of the USSR during her childhood. The family lived successively in Azerbaijan, Georgia, Estonia, in East Germany for several years, and when the Sino-Soviet crisis burst out in 1969 her father was stationed in the Far East. She started studying medicine in university in Vladivostok on the Pacific coast and completed her studies in Ukraine. She spent the longest portion of her life in Tolyatti, a city on the River Volga in Russia where she worked as a physician in a maternal hospital. She settled in the Czech Republic with her two daughters and grandchildren in 2016. She is happy in her newly found home, and the only thing that worries her is the war in Ukraine which she condemns starkly. She was living in Klobouky near Brno in 2023.