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You're reading: Angolan native finds safe haven in Ukraine

“Uh-oh,” I thought, having seen this movie before in Russia, waiting for the stone faces, the averted glances, the muttered or snarled “Zanita.”

What I saw was stunning. Everybody on the bus — maybe 10 people not only knew him, but loved him, greeting him warmly, shaking hands, patting him on the back … and he greeted them in kind. Witnessing it, I was proud. Ukraine is sometimes endlessly surprising. We chatted and later became friends since he also went home at midnight.

His name was Rodriguez, from the endlessly war-torn country of Angola, but he’d been here for 17 years and been a Ukrainian citizen for five.

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