The war for me started in Egypt, on vacation, with my family. But pain, fear for loved ones, and what is happening cannot be expressed in words. We spent a week in a hotel and flew to Germany because we could not return home. Like most refugees, they arrived without warm clothes, without money, and only passports from documents.
When leaving on vacation, no one thinks that he will not return home in the nearest future …
Germany welcomes the Ukrainians very warmly and experiences our grief as their own. However, it is still hard to be in a foreign country, knowing that EVERYTHING is left at home: soul, heart, home life, and parents continue to be in Kharkiv under constant shelling and do not want to go anywhere.
Now we are learning to live in a new way with a huge emptiness inside and faith in only one thing, that everyone will be alive and well, and this terrible dream for all of Ukraine will soon end.
The first couple of days, after the outbreak of hostilities, life practically did not change. Except for the sounds of shots coming from behind the district and queues in stores. People tried to buy everything they needed to the maximum.
Considering that recently I worked remotely, the work process proceeded in the usual rhythm. Only the noise in the background became different. The neighbor’s drill was replaced by volleys of hail and artillery
It didn’t last very long… Until they began to get closer and closer to residential areas and aviation appeared. When war comes to your house, you don’t know how to act and where to run. You start looking at options…
We spent one day in the basement. Oppressive atmosphere… Someone is trying to captivate children with games and drawing, someone is endlessly scrolling through news feeds, and someone is running in a panic around the space, only adding to the anxiety. Stress affects everyone differently.
I decided for myself that it was easier to equip a couch in the corridor than endlessly run into the basement. On the 4th day, it was no longer possible to work. Too frequent and close shelling, electricity is constantly cut down, mobile communications are intermittent…
The first week felt like an eternity. After several nights under airstrikes, it was decided to leave for a safer place. Because some have already managed to reach the western regions of Ukraine. At that time, there were no big problems with finding housing.
From Kharkiv, we left towards the Dnipro. The traffic jam at the exit from the city took us 4 hours. In total, on the first day of the journey, we managed to get to the city of Alexandria. After the first quiet night in a week, we moved towards Khmelnytskyi.
It took us about 32 hours to get to Khmelnytskyi, of which 2 hours we spent on a short sleep along the road, in a makeshift parking lot near the motel. The rest of the time we drove and stood in endless traffic jams.
I would like to note the drivers who believed that they needed to get to their destination more than others – bypassing columns of standing cars with children, the disabled, and simply exhausted people in the oncoming lane, some of whom have nowhere to return.
Upon arrival in Khmelnytskyi, many of the housing options waiting for us were already occupied. It was decided not to go further west and find accommodation locally. On the first day, we were miraculously able to find a motel room near the road for 2 nights. The first day we slept off, the second we spent in search of housing in the place or somewhere else. At that time, everything in the city was already occupied, or we were unlucky. Of all the proposed options, the best solution was – a return to Alexandria.
So we did it. The road back took us much less time, and by the evening we were already there. But before settling into the housing that was waiting for us, we had to live for several days in a volunteer apartment.
As a result, after all the moves, which took about a week, I was able to start a normal workflow. Not with the best Internet, not in the conditions that we are all used to, but the workflow is going on.
And seeing that a huge number of businesses across the country are closed, many people are left without means of subsistence, and someone even finds himself in a hopeless situation, having lost everything … You understand that at least a small contribution in the form of paying taxes, or helping individual people who find themselves in a difficult situation, you can somehow help.
Yes, we will not save the economy individually… We will not return home or loved ones to people… But if everyone who now has a small opportunity to help does this, then we will be able to overcome all difficulties.
Now is the time when everyone should do the maximum in their place, to the extent possible. Otherwise, why all these sacrifices?
Our friend lived in Tsyrkuny and was at home at the beginning of the war. Tsyrkuny is a village at the entrance to Kharkiv from the Belgorod side (RF). It was occupied immediately – on February 24th.
Our friend and his family lived in a private house. In the neighborhood, they had a new house, still unfurnished. Doctors settled there a month ago.
Doctors were kicked out of the house on the first day and the orcs (Russian soldiers) settled.
Practically from the first day, they began to bomb Kharkiv and nearby territories every day. My friend tried to enter the territory of Ukraine, but the Russian army did not let them in.
At some point, they could not withstand the bombing and together with their family – wife, son, and 92-year-old father-in-law – went to the Russian border together with the invader’s echelon.
“I had to leave the car, house, and dog to the neighbors. The dog is big, it was simply not possible to take it with me.” – he said.
Now the Tsyrkuny is very destroyed. Although our friend, a former military man who fought in Afghanistan, says that two wars for life are too much. In Ukraine, there were parents, an adult daughter with a child. The second child, who was taken with them, is 13 years old.
Nobody wants to go to Russia, but there is no choice.
We got to know that my friend and his family managed to escape. After interrogations in the Russian Federation, they left Russia for Lithuania and returned to Ukraine.