The morning of February 24 knocked us for a loop. Instead of going about our everyday business, we were suddenly making decisions about how to go on living in a country where war had just started. Shock. Helplessness. Desperation. Fear. And these aren’t the only emotions that overwhelmed every one of us that day.
Our city saw no military action in the first few days, like the calm before a storm. The first attacks took place near the artillery academy and the airport and we could hear every explosion in our apartment building. From time to time, our windows shook. My daughter was terrified. She kept crying and saying that she didn’t want to die.
There were days when the city was shelled, and everyone in our building hid in the basement. We would sit there, listening to the explosions outside, each of us praying that we would make it out alive. The children were crying. It’s very hard to take when young kids realize that they’re in mortal danger and keep asking their parents, «Will we be killed?»
Our family left the city after the first air strike. I have no idea if we’ll ever go back home or whether there’ll even be a home to go back to. It’s terribly painful to have to flee and leave your entire life behind. To go into the unknown and to have to start everything all over again.
I don’t want my daughter to shake at every sound, I don’t want her to sleep in basements, I don’t want the war to take away her childhood.
I want to live in a peaceful and independent Ukraine, and I truly believe that soon I will be able to do so.