Stories of people fleeing the war

20 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.

Mrs. Halyna, Kramatorsk, May 16.

"Until recently, I did not believe that Russia would attack us. While everything was only in Donbass, I thought that Russia was only supplying weapons, but I did not believe that it was involved. I thought that some Russian forces were involved there, but more banditry than professionalism. And as soon as he attacked, I realized that I was wrong about Putin… "

"Ли The shelling started closer and closer in our country, and we have an airfield and a military unit nearby. They bombed the airfield, but around the city we were surrounded by our troops, they shot down a lot of shells. Some have broken windows, minor damage from the blast wave. It is six kilometers from us to the airfield, I look and all our neighbors are standing and watching: two planes flew in, dropped bombs once, then turned around and dropped bombs a second time, they then destroyed all diesel fuel stocks ... "

Mrs. Halyna hid from the shelling at home, in the corridor, arranging a corner with two refrigerators and an armchair in the middle. Once there was a case that Mrs. Galina tells me about for the second time - a real plot of a melancholy film in the style of Lars von Trier. I share literally.

"We do not turn on the light, we are forbidden to turn it on after dark. We turned off all the lights in the city, even the sun was removed, the city is completely dark. The anxiety ended, I decided to drink water and go to bed. I go to the water, it's in my bathroom. Suddenly the bathroom becomes light, like a clear day. I run out into the corridor, from there I can clearly see from the window in the kitchen, I see something incomprehensible flying… Well, I calmly, phlegmatically think to myself: "Well, do not die twice" and went to bed. In the morning I open the curtained mirror, I look - all gray »."

I ask Ms. Galina about the rocket attack on the Kramatorsk railway station (April 8, 10:30 am, when many civilians were killed waiting their turn to be evacuated by train)
"I was lucky that I did not decide to go that day, because my things were already collected, I was ready to leave from day to day. Later I went with volunteers, they are believers, whether Baptists or evangelicals. They said that at that time they had to pick up some people from the station in Dnepropetrovsk by train. But, they say, in the morning they had the usual prayer, which for some reason was delayed that day. Arrived at the station after the explosion, saw everything that was there, began to help. It is said that prayer left them alive. "

The 82 day of Russia's full-scale war against Ukraine.

Mrs. Olga, Kharkiv, May 12

Mrs. Olga came from Kharkiv with her daughter, grandson and granddaughter. She is now a pensioner, previously worked as an engineer in Kharkiv, her daughter is an archery coach - in peacetime she often went to competitions in different cities of Ukraine and gained many acquaintances, who now shelter them in Lviv.

Ms. Olga talks about 52 days spent in a bomb shelter in Kharkiv and shows a photo of how they made bunks for children from the door, took down pillows and blankets, and arranged "conditions" for themselves. The bomb shelter actually became their permanent home, because in any, even remote danger, they went down there for the sake of children. Ms. Olga remembers with tears in her eyes how each time they had to run down with their children in their arms as soon as explosions began to be heard from afar (there were also traumatic cases when a father with a child (younger girl) in his arms fell in a hurry.

Ms. Olena says that it is still difficult for children to adapt to the explosions - they are startled by the sounds of trams heard from the street. He says that once at the train station, as soon as he arrived in Lviv, his eldest grandson heard the sounds of air alarms and began to run away. He was caught by people who turned out to be psychologists, they offered free help. For more than a month now, children have been working with psychologists and receiving qualified help, although Ms. Olena jokes, "Psychologists say frankly that in order to cure children, adults must be treated first."

The 78 day of Russia's full-scale war against Ukraine.