Maryland Delegate Kirill Reznik was four-years-old when his family left his native Kyiv, which at that time still was part of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. As Jews, his family fled the endemic antisemitism.
He recalls the special foods his family cooked and can speak Russian and generally understands Ukrainian. While he no longer has family in Ukraine, his parents keep in touch with friends. “Things are pretty bad,” Reznik said they have told his parents.
His parents’ friends have all fled the cities and moved to the countryside, to their dachas, which are second or seasonal homes, said Reznik, who has represented District 39 since 2007. That district includes Gaithersburg, Germantown, Montgomery Village, Clarksburg and the Town of Washington Grove.
While his memories are few, he feels a definite connection with his homeland. “There is a sense of identity from the place you were born in. There is a sense of identity from where your family came from, where your ancestors came from,” he said.
Now, he no longer takes the easy way out and just says he is from Russia, he said.