Tales from the Gulag: why I’m helping survivors tell their stories

I trudge up the concrete stairs of a council block of flats in west London. Up three floors. Then along one of those outside corridors, past several doors until I reach the final one. It is already open and there she is — smaller than I remember and with a charming, friendly smile. I guess that is because Ivanna knows me better now. She trusts me more. After what she has been through, it’s not surprising that it takes time to gain her trust. She welcomes me into her little one-bedroom flat and before long, I am in a different world — a world of Ukrainians, Poles and Soviets, deportations,