My personal struggle began on August 4, when I joined the independent observers. The events of August 9 just brought all the accumulated emotions to a boil.
Late in the afternoon, the neighbors began to come to the site. Some came in sweatpants and sneakers, not thinking that in a couple of hours the revolution would start, the riot police would come and grab us.
And so we were sitting outside the school, waiting for the election results. We hoped that they would still let us in. It got dark. And then my husband began to tell people we should disperse. I didn't understand what happened, but then black silhouettes appeared from the darkness and moved towards us. They looked like they were ready to kill someone. We were five female observers, we quickly and unconsciously stood in a chain at the school door and started yelling: "We are independent observers! We're not going anywhere! We have the right!" They did not beat us, but they spoke to us very rudely, towering above us with their bodies. My mother kept crying: "Tanya, go away! Tanya, go away!" It was scary: it was the first time I saw a riot policeman so close. All in black, in a balaclava, he shone a flashlight in our eyes...
We were treated so badly that evening that I realized: we must not forgive, we must not let go, we must not forget the main thing. I bought a piece of cardboard, made a poster "Give Back Our Voices" and now go to protests with it. At first, when the girls gave flowers to riot police, they looked askance at my poster. But I continued to come, I never hid, and I am not hiding now. I proudly leave home and take public transport with it [the poster].