• Номер запису / Number of record: 03-26-02
  • Автор(-ка) / Author: Maryna
  • Дата запису / Date of record: February 24, 2022
  • Регіон / Region: Kyiv

I woke up the morning of February 24 to see my husband running around our apartment looking for empty bottles, filling them and every other empty container with water in the bathroom.

«What are you doing?» I asked.

«The war started.»

I didn’t cry. I started to pack the backpack with documents and spare clothes for the children. I could hear an explosion outside the closed window.

We didn’t leave that day because I didn’t want to. We waited in the bathroom for two days, watching shells fall closer and closer to the Lukianivka station. On the third day, we put our 5-year-old twins in the car and drove towards western Ukraine, into the unknown. Going the other way on the highway were tanks and other heavy equipment along the route.

«Beep them, they’re ours, aren’t they?» I shouted.

«What if they aren’t?»

The cars were moving in three lanes, slowly, silently. Above the traffic, we could hear the roar of an airplane, then another. They were flying low. Everything stopped for a second, but no, they flew on. And we started our long journey, where there were good people who let us stay for a night, for a week, then to the border that took 10 hours on foot.

At last, I was safe with the kids, while my dear husband is at home, helping organize the evacuation of refugees from Kharkiv Oblast. I dream of returning home, as long as everyone is alive and there’s somewhere to return to. Even here in Poland, my son keeps asking: «Mama, a bomb won’t fall on us?»

Maryna, Kyiv