Stories of people fleeing the war

17 may 2022
Stories of people who moved to Lviv fleeing active hostilities in their region.
Our guests - refugees who come to the office at 27 Fedorov Street, not only come to receive humanitarian aid, they carry with them a universe of memories, feelings and experiences that we are interested in discovering by communicating with them. These people came from different regions, mainly from the East of Ukraine, as well as from the southern regions and Kyiv region. Their stories touch the living and give an understanding of what war is for ordinary Ukrainians. We publish some excerpts from interviews with them.

Svitlana and Lilia, Mykolaiv, April 18

Svitlana and Lilia (mother and daughter) visited our center. The four of them came to Lviv, together with their father and grandfather Lily (Svetlana's husband and father). My grandfather is ill and denies that there is a war in the country, collects things every morning and demands to take him home.

Hearing the offer to eat, the mother just stared in silence for a few seconds, and then tears welled up in her eyes. Her daughter cried for her. Trying to calm them down and asking a few questions, it turned out that they were from Mykolayiv, a few days after they arrived and had not yet crossed the line when you surrender to natural adaptation elsewhere, rather than worrying about the uninvited guest, thinking it would be better stay at home until the last.

As it turned out from the conversation, the neighboring villages near Mykolayiv were literally wiped off the face of the earth, leaving nothing. At home, women, hiding in basements, began to decipher the sounds of technology, identifying it as "their own" or "foreign". They say that hail is the worst thing, because they shoot for a long time and at different points.

Svitlana worked in Mykolayiv as a Ukrainian language teacher and deputy director of the educational department. Lilia was a leading employee of the university, a specialist in programming. Currently, they both have no earnings or jobs.

Svetlana and Lilia became special guests for us. They came to us again and again, we rejoiced in each other like good old friends, talked a lot, laughed. So people melted from the war, feeling the ground under the vortex of Lviv life.

54th days of full-scale Russian invasion.

Mrs. Larissa from Kharkiv. April 25

Mrs. Larysa came to Lviv with her son, they live in the Lyceum together with many other refugees. Ms. Larysa is survived by her father and mother in Kharkiv, who do not want to leave their homes. The mother hides in the subway during the alarm, and the father is deaf and does not hear explosions, sitting at home. "We also hid in basements, in the subway, and then lived in a bomb shelter for two weeks. There is a tank factory near us - eight bombs were dropped, our roof almost fell off in that bomb shelter," Ms. Larisa recalls.

"It was normal for me to stand behind the humanities under the hail, I got used to it. I know when our air defense works, in three seconds the "answer" arrives, I distinguish where "Grady", where "Tornadoes", where our air defense works, where "Iskander" flies. As soon as Iskander explodes, that's right, you can go about your business, smoke, do whatever you want - 15 minutes to recharge, then the next one arrives. It was scary only when we were standing in line for the humanitarian, a plane flew over us, went in a circle directly above us, at this moment he usually drops bombs, we were very scared, because if he drops the bomb, it will fly somewhere a kilometer, where run?"

Ms. Larissa said at the end: "When we were sitting in the bomb shelter, we were not far from home, but we couldn't go out because we were pouring Grady. Someone once brought potatoes as a humanitarian, but they forgot about it, threw it into a corner, and there were dogs. Well, we had to eat something, so we ate those potatoes with the dogs. "

Saying goodbye, Ms. Larysa left behind winged phrases to understand the political mood of the military in Kharkiv: "Our neighbor, you know, said to the last: Putin will not shoot me. As soon as he arrived at her house, Putin immediately x **** ".

61 days of full-scale Russian invasion.

Mrs. Nadiya from Chernihiv, April 28

Ms. Nadiya arrived from Chernihiv with her daughter in early March. She shared a story about what happened in Chernihiv during the occupation, how they managed to evacuate, and what their hometown looks like now.

"Fighters were constantly flying overhead ... For the first two weeks we sat between the load-bearing walls in the corridor, went down to the basement several times, but there were a lot of people there. ".

Ms. Nadiya, a devout woman, endured all the events of the occupation, because she believes in divine providence and protection: "Despite the fact that Chernihiv was very restless, we did not dare to leave. This moment came when I opened the Bible to a passage about Sodom and Gomorrah and the first thing I read there was "Run." I took it as a signal and my daughter and I decided to try to evacuate. "

"I arranged with a volunteer to take us out. Suddenly that day we learned that the road bridge had been torn down - and that was the only possible road route. But we still had a pedestrian bridge, we could cross it, there were volunteers on the other side - but it was very dangerous. "
On the first day when the women came to the bridge, the shelling started, they were not allowed. When they were able to cross the next day (only five people were allowed to pass), they were accompanied by a woman and an elderly mother who could barely walk: "I didn't understand how they were going to cross the bridge, although my daughter reacted immediately. "Together with the woman, they took her mother by the arms and carried her on."
When we passed this bridge, I looked at the road, and there the military vehicles were still smoking, foreign cars were beaten, corpses were lying ... and when we passed this horror, this "valley of death", the shelling started, the soldiers shouted at us "Fall on land ", but there was mud, if we put the grandmother, we would not have lifted her, so we kept going. I was walking, praying ... Suddenly, two steps away from us, an explosion is heard, very close ... And who will say after that that God didn't close us with Himself? After that the bridge was closed, nobody walked on it anymore - emergency. "

"Currently, only stones remain from the suburbs in Chernihiv, rarely a house is half full; the center is broken, people stand behind the humanitarian from morning till night."

After listening to Nadezhda's story, we thought she deserved a thriller based on the motives, where in the end boundless faith wins as an eternal source of confidence and courage and a man who is its ambassador in this world of terrible injustice, where human life becomes a tombstone of ambitions and distorted concepts. Such is the struggle of the little man, against the great mechanism of history, events, circumstances, plexuses of fate.

64 days of full-scale Russian invasion.