Topic: Refugees

335-14-02

Olena, Donetsk Oblast 335−14−02

We’re sitting in the park: such a lovely company of girls in dresses with cups of coffee and a crowd of noisy children aged 2 to 7. The prefect Instagram shot. But come a bit closer. We’re listening to Tanya telling the story of how she left already-occupied Luhansk in 2014. We’re talking about our pain, our memories, our dreams and hopes. Refugees. We’re refugees. A year and a half …

Olena, Donetsk Oblast 335−14−02 Read More «

Lesia, Kyiv 296−26−02

Like mostly everyone, we were nervous before February 24, but had not dared to fully believe in the possibility of war. The morning of the 24th woke me up with the sounds of explosions and phone calls. From my brother, who is now defending us near Kharkiv, came a short message: it started, be careful. The following hours and days were as if in a fog. How to be careful, what to do, will this …

Lesia, Kyiv 296−26−02 Read More «

Halyna, Lviv Oblast 287−13−02

For us, there are no safe spaces. I look at my friends and acquaintances in Switzerland. Everyone is living a reasonably happy life. They have their personal joys, traumas and dramas. I look at them in envy: while living in the same space, we are living such different lives. I may not live under constant threat of shelling, but as a Ukrainian I’m always in a risk zone. I’m still not being accepted …

Halyna, Lviv Oblast 287−13−02 Read More «

Olha, Kyiv 37−26−02

I slept through the beginning of the war… At 5 a.m. on the 24th of February, there was an explosion outside. The car alarms went nuts. I jumped out of bed. Everything felt foggy. I was exhausted from all the hospital visits and sleepless nights I’d had with my son, who’d been sick. He’s not yet three years old. My brain shut off and I fell asleep …

Olha, Kyiv 37−26−02 Read More «

Yulia, Kharkiv Oblast 36−20−02

On March 2, 2022, I packed my life into a backpack and decided that my daughters and I must leave Kharkiv. By pure magic we managed to get a lift to the train station where we were faced with a swarm of people. There was panic. It was chaos. The station was packed with people, children, elderly people, dogs, all pushing and shoving each other. When the evacuation train arrived, …

Yulia, Kharkiv Oblast 36−20−02 Read More «

Halyna, Kyiv 23−26−02

Kyiv railway station on March 1 was absolutely packed. Everyone listened out for when there would be trains heading West. Our train is announced and the crowd rushes madly towards it. There are soldiers with machine guns on the platform. Parents lose sight of a boy, and scream in panic. The soldiers are looking for a child who, covering his head with hands, falls …

Halyna, Kyiv 23−26−02 Read More «

Masha, Kyiv 42−26−02

Train Kyiv-L'viv. An evacuation route. We, two girls with a dog, are going from Kyiv to Poland. Next to us, two elderly women — very elegant — are heading to their relatives in France. Also next to us are Sasha and Katya — two sisters, Sasha is only ten years old, and Katya, even though she is older, is so young. They were going to Germany. Also, we had a boy called Danya …

Masha, Kyiv 42−26−02 Read More «

Mary, Mariupol 209−05−02

Artem misses his dad. He’s trying to understand why we left without him, and why his dad can’t join us. I have to answer his questions. My son accepts this difficult information in his own, seven-year-old way. I answer him honestly. «Why are you talking about 8 years? What do you mean, there was no shooting for 8 years?» «Yes, Artem, 8 years ago the …

Mary, Mariupol 209−05−02 Read More «

Olha, Kyiv 38−26−02

Conversations that should never take place. Lviv. A library. A 7th grade girl from Kharkiv: «Are you having classes now?» I ask her. «School isn’t mandatory now. It’s for those who can, who have internet. Those who are alive.» I don’t know what to say. I ask whether all the kids are letting people know they’re alive. «One classmate’s gone missing. …

Olha, Kyiv 38−26−02 Read More «