The first week was the scariest. We didn’t know what to expect. We heard booms the whole day long. The district, where I live, Saltivka, was damaged the most in Kharkiv. Already on the first day, there were hits not far from our house. On the second day I saw Russian military equipment in my street. I was scared, because I didn't know, what to do. IT TOOK US THREE DAYS TO GET TO LVIV. THE FIRST DAY, WE DROPPED BY OUR FRIENDS IN POLTAVA. THE NEXT DAY WE MOVED ON. EVERYONE USED THE SAME ROUTE, IT WAS IMPOSSIBLE TO GO AROUND OR SHORTEN IT. ON THE SECOND DAY, WE SPENT NIGHT IN THE CAR ON THE HIGHWAY, AND TRAVELLED THE WHOLE OF THE THIRD DAY.
We spent days in the basement and returned back home at night, but we couldn’t sleep, sure thing. We grabbed all our things and quickly ran to the corridor every time we heard air planes. That was our life until we left the city. When leaving, we took everything we had and drove in an unknown direction just to flee. Over time, you get used to explosions and even start to understand how far away the strike is and what they used to shoot. At some point, life becomes a lottery: strikes are getting closer every day.
I SPENT FIVE MONTHS IN LVIV OBLAST, I HELPED OTHERS AND VOLUNTEERED ALL THE TIME. THEN I MOVED TO POLAND TO STUDY, BUT I CONTINUE TO PACK AND SEND HUMANITARIAN AID TO UKRAINE.
BW PICTURES COURTESY OF MAKSYM
I STAYED AT MY FRIENDS’ IN KYIV. THE NEXT DAY WE DECIDED TO GO TO RIVNE. THERE WAS NO TRAIN SCHEDULE AT THE STATION, IT WAS CROWDED AND IN CHAOS. WE STOOD FOR 15 HOURS DURING OUR TRIP. WE PUT OUR BAGS ON THE FLOOR TO SEAT OUR CHILDREN AND ELDERLY. WE STAYED TWO DAYS IN RIVNE, AND THEN WENT TO WARSAW ON AN EVACUATION TRAIN. ALL THAT TIME, MY MOTHER WAS IN POLAND, WORRYING FOR US. MY SISTER STAYED FOR 10 MORE DAYS IN MARIUPOL, AND WE COULDN’T GET IN TOUCH WITH HER. FINALLY, THEY COULD ESCAPE THROUGH BERDIANSK AND ZAPORIZHZHIA, AND THEN BY AN EVACUATION TRAIN TO WARSAW...
OUR WHOLE FAMILY IS IN WARSAW NOW.
BW PICTURES COURTESY OF ANZHELIKA
VERONIKA (19) FROM CHERNIHIV.
LEFT UKRAINE ON 14 MARCH
PEOPLE WERE LOOKING AT US WONDERING WHAT WE WERE RUNNING FROM, BUT THAT WAS DIFFICULT TO EXPLAIN. ONLY BLUE PASSPORTS AND SAD TIRED EYES GAVE US AWAY.