Anastasiya Khalakhan was born on January 17, 1931 in Verkhnia Bystra village, Velykobereznianskyi povit in the large family where she was one of the nine children. Her father was disabled after WWI, her mother died when they were still very young so they became orphans. When Anastasiya was 2,5 years old she and her older sister were sent to the orphanage of father Avgustyn Voloshyn and his wife Iryna. Anastasiya remembers their cordial attitude towards the children in Voloshyn family. There were 22 children at the orphanage where they studied various useful sciences. Every summer the children along with their fosterers went to the village in Slovakia to the family mansion of Voloshyn family.  In March 1936 mother Iryna suddenly died. Anastasiya became an orphan for the second time. In October 1938 when Avgustyn Voloshyn was appointed as a Prime Minister of Pidkarpatska Rus, Anastasiya along with the other children from orphanage came to the airdrome to congratulate him. On the same evening a group of Magyars threw stones at the windows of orphanage. Anastasiya remembers that on November 11th 1938 their shelter was moved from Uzhgorod to Khust as a result of the Vienna arbitrage. She remembers an evacuation of property and institutions from Uzhgorod. The family was in Nevytske village while building a new house for them. Children didn’t go to school that year and were studying at home. Father Avgustyn often visited children that were now under the care of Basilian sisters. However, on March 15th after the proclamation of Independent Carpathian Ukraine father Voloshyn had to leave Khust and his family, and move to Romania to prevent the execution of the government by Hungarian occupation.

In the morning of March 16th father Avgustyn said farewell to the children-orphans during the Mass in the chapel. It was the last day when Anastasiya saw her father alive. During next days their house was repeatedly ransacked by Hungarian soldiers shouting “Hang Voloshyn!”, “Put the rope on his neck!” These words always remained in the memory of little Nastia. During Hungarian occupation their house was under the care of the Basilian sisters. Anastasiya remembers that on March 15th 1940 in Khust big blue-yellow flag was hung at the castle after which gendarmes arrested people that were suspected in pro-Ukrainian position. During occupation times Anastasiya studied at the public school in Khust. At the after-war time Anastasiya graduated from the Kharkiv Intitute of Culture.

Only in 1950s Anastasiya discovered that her father Voloshyn passed away. This information was given to her by Yevgen Sherehii, who was a family friend. Avgustyn Voloshyn was sent to Moscow and tortured in the Lefortov prison in 1945.

Even nowadays Anastasiya remembers a poem that her father Avgustyn taught her “I’m a small Ukrainian girl, my father and mother are Ukrainians, my small brother was born in Ukraine. When I will grow up I will never forget woe and sorrow and I will be helping my brothers to free Ukraine”.

In 70s Anastasiya and her named sisters Varvara Vasylykha and nun sister Olha managed to find a grave of their “mother” Iryna Voloshyn on the old cemetery near Uzhgorod castle. This cemetery was absolutely destroyed by Soviet government and Skansen museum was build on this place. There are only several graves on the cemetery line left and the grave of Iryna Voloshyna is among them. Every year sisters come to their mother’s grave and serve a Mess in the church on the birthdays of Avgustyn and Iryna.

Anatasiya worked in the education field for her whole life, for some period of time she worked as a secretary of the news paper “Youth of Transcarpathia”, later she worked in the regional children library of Uzhgorod and she was her director for many years. Nowadays, Anastasiya lives in Uzhgorod.

Photos From Archives