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Medmāsa no Ukrainas: Mēģināšu iegūt Latvijas pilsonību

Ukrainian nurse in Latvia: I will try to get citizenship

Nine doctors from Ukraine work in Liepāja, and two others – dentist Oleksy Buryak and nurse Natalya Reutskaya – in South Kurzeme. She and her family have decided to stay in Latvia until her son graduates school. Natalya continues to learn Latvian and thinks she might acquire Latvian citizenship in the future, TV Kurzeme reported on January 16.

When Russia's full-scale invasion began, Natalya and her family had lived in a place just dozens of kilometers from the border with the aggressor state, and because of the hostilities, it was decided to leave their homeland immediately. They now live in Vaiņode of the Dienvidkurzeme municipality - Natalya's husband works there as a tractor driver, but she has settled herself in the nearby Priekule hospital.

At the hospital, Natalya was initially accepted as assistant to the dentist Oleksy Buryak, but in June last year she received documents confirming the right to officially work in the nurse's specialty.

Since then, she has worked in a social care and social rehabilitation center and says that the transition from the Ukrainian medical care system to Latvian conditions has not been difficult. Every day they come to work from Vaiņode, where other Ukrainians living in Dienvidkurzeme are also staying in the service hotel of a former boarding school. Her child also attends Vaiņode Secondary School.

“I have a son, he's 11. He likes school, he likes to go to school. He learns English, Latvian and programming in the evenings in addition,“ says Natalya.

She said that the family has no option to return because the front is right there at the doorstep of their house.

“Our house is 30 kilometers from the front line and even after the town was liberated it is impossible to live there. Rocket and artillery strikes continue non-stop every day. I'm in the mood that as long as my son goes to school here, we're not going home,” said Natalya.

Moreover, when the family has been here for five years, Natalya and her husband plan to try to acquire Latvian citizenship. They spend time off work mostly with newly acquired acquaintances – work colleagues, whom they try to communicate with in Latvian.

“First, I want to learn the language very well to speak well. I'd like to try [getting citizenship], but you must live here for a long time, and you have to learn the language well. Right now, my goal is learning the language and integrating into the rhythm of Latvian life,” Natalya said.

Latvia currently employs 188 medical workers from Ukraine in their profession.

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