• Номер запису / Number of record: 34-26-01
  • Автор(-ка) / Author: Anna
  • Дата запису / Date of record: March 14, 2022
  • Регіон / Region: Kyiv

An apartment building one block away from my mom’s place was shelled. That’s it in the photo. My mom’s ok. My mother-in-law's also relatively fine — they’ve already equipped their cellar and have a supply of preserves and potatoes.

We’ve already moved four times since we fled to Western Ukraine. Our lives fit into a couple of bags. My children are wearing borrowed shoes, we got a stroller from the humanitarian aid center, and the branded jacket I bought just in November last year already looks shabby. My youngest son who’s a year and a half has already learned the words «bam», «boom», and «bang» and can make the noise of the air raid siren.

Photograph: State Emergency Service of Ukraine

In the past week I’ve been singing «How can I not love you, my Kyiv» [the unofficial anthem of the city] to my kids instead of a lullaby and swallowing tears as I’m singing. Our close friends managed to get out of the occupied territories close to Vorzel just the other day. They told us horror stories. Friends from Kharkiv, Kherson, Irpin, Mariupol, Sumy region, Bila Tserkva and many other places… we’re trying to stay in touch. But not everybody answers the messages.

I feel scared every day. I feel hatred every day. Every day I have unshakeable trust in the Ukrainian armed forces. Every day I thank God when I see replies from my loved ones in chat apps. Every day I’m afraid to fall asleep and to read the news in the morning. I can’t play with my kids, I can’t emotionally engage with them. They force some reaction from me. We fight; then we make up and talk. I’m focusing on the bare minimum: feeding, putting to bed, walking, checking the news, hugging the kids and my husband, calling our moms. And believing, believing, believing.

Anna, Kyiv