At 5:30 I woke up from my cousin Dmitro’s phone call: «Get up, Ukraine, the Muscovite is attacking — the war started in Ukraine.»
Then I constantly read and reread the news. And from what I saw I was filled with panic and fear. Of course, like every mother, my wife Marianna, was worried about the kids. After three days I tried to get them across the border to my parents, since I could not forgo the opportunity for them to be safe. We said good-bye at the checkpoint, and the girls were met by their parents after they crossed the border. But my story continues here.
The whole day we stood in line while it was 40 degrees outside, and we still didn’t make it onto the bus that would take us across the border. After spending the night at a boarding school, in the morning we walked almost 10 miles. I carried my youngest son and my suitcase; the eldest also had a suitcase and my wife as well. We were also accompanied by two women from the village with their kids.
I took the week off because I could not sit still at work. I wanted to be completely useful at the village. We built block-posts and patrolled the village. I gave away my Ivano-Frankiv apartment for free to a Kharkiv family to live in.
At the same time my parents at the village Altino in Italy started putting together some humanitarian aid. My godfather Serhiy and I went to get it at the border on March 9th. This is where our first problems with our documents began and the bus did not want to let us pass forward or go back. But our customs officers interfered and our load went through.
In 2014 my dad dreamed of buying an emergency vehicle for Ukrainian defenders. However, this didn’t happen very easily. Finding two kinds of vehicles on the Internet and then looking at them, my father decided to take both of them. However, then problems with the new registration began. At first we didn’t know if the car needed to be registered to a physical person or a legal entity. We were afraid of making a mistake that would cost us the cars. Also we needed to have an official referral of the military commandeers to the head of customs regarding these vehicles. Therefore, we began thinking about who we might give them to.
At first, I got in touch with a mountain-assault brigade deployed to Kolyma, since I know that our village had sent help there more than once. I also talked to my brother Dmitro, who is now serving in Kropivnitsky. On that side of the border, the process of insurance and transit numbers took a long time. At the same time, my dad wondered how to get the cars here. Thus, we met Ivan from Transcarpathia, who takes care of cargo transportation. At half the cost, he quickly transported the cars with his truck. So that the cars would not be empty, they were filled with food products, clothes, medicine, wheelchair, crutches.
For me this was a very valuable gift, as it was for our whole family. If only I could as quickly as possible hug my wife and kids, whom I haven’t seen in 2.5 months. And once again tell them, looking into their eyes, how much I love them. Now these feelings are a million times stronger than they had been before the war. Then, unfortunately, you didn’t value the time you spent together. And as far as the automobile, we hope that it will help save more than one life. After all, losses are most difficult to take: the lives of innocent women, children, courageous soldiers and Ukrainian territories. «Azovstal» -- in general, this word brings only tears and emotions…
We believe that with such people at the front lines and support in the rear -- we will certainly win!
Nazarii, Ivano-Frankivsk region