This is my fiancÃ©e, Ann Sitnikova.
Here's Ann in Uniform. She's on the right.
This is Balaklava Bay, the port she is in charge of guarding. It's an extremely important strategic military position to both Russia and Ukraine. This is the home of the USSR's first nuclear submarine base located within the mountain to the left.
This is another shot of the bay. This was taken from her post. As you can see, the Ukrainian military facilities aren't exactly . . . good.
This is the mountain path that she has to climb every day in Balaklava to her post.
Here is another picture from her post.
Lena, the Scottish Fold that I will be photographing and printing an 8x10 of for you if anyone donates the full $1200 request. Hands down the weirdest, cutest, strangest cat I've ever laid eyes on.
My name is Matt Anderson. I'm in my late 20s and I've been with my fiancÃ©e for four years as of now. Until recently, things were looking great. We were on the track to getting her K1 visa through and getting her over to the USA here with me for good.
Then these riots started brewing into something bigger and the Ukrainian Military quit paying my fiancÃ©e, when they should. UPDATE: As of yesterday she had gone nearly two months with no pay but finally received her salary. With her monthly salary being roughly ~$250 USD, it doesn't go too far so I have to bear a good portion of her living expenses. Along with that, dealing with the bureaucracy of the visa with the US Embassy in Kiev at the moment is next to impossible. I need to be there.
My fiancÃ©e is stationed in Balaklava Bay in Sevastopol, Crimea, Ukraine. She's in the military there and things are heating up big time. Needless to say, she's scared. As of today, the Russian Naval fleet moved in while tanks and APCs are in the streets. Alongside the Russian and Ukrainian Military are citizens volunteering wielding batons. She has been warned that her position can be attacked at any time due to it being a large strategic port and her post being the tower that oversees the bay's security. She's a radar operator and has been on high alert watching the yachts of several politicians. If they attempt to leave, hell breaks loose. And if they attempt to leave, you better believe that there is going to be a distraction or the start of something serious there in Balaklava, the exact point she is at. Nothing can enter or exit the bay, including cars at the moment.
People don't understand how absolutely shitty the military is there, no offense to Ukraine, but it isn't exactly a tower of power. Their people could over-run them without breaking a sweat. My fiancÃ©e hasn't ever touched a gun before. I mean, look at Kiev, the capital; decimated. She's pretty scared and has to sneak to work hiding her uniform under instruction from her superiors. She's scared she'll either be kidnapped, beaten, or killed. And I don't blame her, I'm worried.
I'm asking around and inquiring where possible about how I could manage to get a ticket to Simferopol, Ukraine funded because I simply cannot afford it at the moment. Normally, I would be able to but me and my fiancÃ©e are in the midst of trying to buy a home here in Detroit for her arrival. Aside from that, I just squandered all of my savings on a Canon 5D Mark III and Zoom H6, an absolutely amazing camera and field recorder. It's an investment that I'm counting on working for me. I feel ashamed asking for donations like this as it truly is not my style whatsoever, but this is an out of the ordinary situation. I feel embarrassed doing this, but I'm hoping that I can create something that people will enjoy seeing in the form of pictures and video. In other words, I'm flat broke and have just enough to eat, get around by bus a little in Ukraine, and help with my Ann's bills. I've been contracted to do several pieces around the world/USA for various causes and I feel as though I can make something good in Ukraine with this camera.
Here are some examples of my previous video work, and this was done with my old camera except the India piece, that one was done with Appalachian Media Institute's Sony HVR-Z1U. My new camera puts both of those to shame and I'm extremely excited to run it through the gauntlet:
WMMT Real People Radio (Whitesburg, KY in the Appalachian Mountains):
India, a Traveling Giving Circle (All over India):
Appalachian Transition (Kentucky/West Virginia, Appalachian Mountains):
How Will You Take a Stand Against Coal? (Shot for Greenpeace International):
I am just asking for enough money so that I can obtain a plane ticket. I'm a little desperate, and to be honest, I'm worried to death about my Ann's well-being. Apparently, Russia is moving into Crimea in pretty large numbers which isn't boding too well. Especially since her co-workers are anticipating a civil war. To be honest, I don't know what else to do other than be there, doing what I can to ensure she is ok. While I'm there to support and comfort her, I could use this chance to document some very important happenings in the world for your viewing pleasure. I would be staying in Sevastopol, Ukraine for somewhere around 30-90 days. A plane ticket to Simferopol, Ukraine is roughly $1200 and that is all I am asking for, I can fend for myself beyond that.
I'd fly into Kiev which is cheaper, but getting to Sevastopol from Kiev would make the overall expense more.
Any and all information and support is EXTREMELY appreciated.
Thank you very much.
UPDATE: I had to update the donation amount goal from $1200 to $1325. I was told that GoFundMe didn't take a percentage of donations, but was misinformed. It appears as though they take around 8% total and $0.50 per donation. Thank you guys so much!
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