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“Father, take us away from here …” – 24 hours

Seymour KazimovChernivtsi, Ukraine

Reference: Estimates of international humanitarian organizations according toMore than 6.5 million IDPs have gathered in western Ukraine since the first month of the war. In addition, more than 3.5 million Ukrainian refugees have left the country. 90% of them are women and are children...

“My husband and my parents are still in Mariupol. I can’t hear from them. I left the city on March 12. Then I heard from those who came that, they are alive, but in the will gasthere is no light, they cook on the stove ”.

Julia is 40 years old, she has lived and studied in Mariupol all her life. Mariupol is one of the cities most affected by Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine. The woman’s house was destroyed in front of her eyes. Together with many neighbors. The survivors hid in the basements, and the lucky ones somehow escaped and fled to the west.

Now there is only one name left from Mariupol. The city was completely destroyed by bullets, shells, bombs and rockets. Light gasno water…

“It’s as if they’re going to give the civilian population a ‘green corridor,'” Yulia said. – It’s a lie! To date, no such corridor has been created. People have been able to get out of there in various ways, risking their lives. I did the same, I had to save my 12-year-old son. My wife and I consulted that, I and Let our son go, let him stay. “

It was not easy for Julia to leave the city. The refugee group he joined was from Mariupol 20 was besieged by Russian troops in the town of Volodarka. They were under siege for some time. They took refuge in the hospital.

“Early in the morning, I went to the center of the settlement with my son and saw him that, soldiers are not visible. We didn’t even know where we were going, much later Ukraine “We met the military, and they pushed us away from the dangerous area.”

From that day the woman from her husband and can’t hear from his parents: calls, writes messages, no answer.

“I was told that, Even if the calls are not received, the messages are likely to arrive. She according to I keep writing to my wife, I hope that, I will get an answer from someone. ”

Julia and Mikhail

Yulia’s son, 12-year-old Mikhail, now lives with his mother in a dormitory in the western Ukrainian city of Chernivtsi, which borders Romania. He says he misses his classmates and friends, but he doesn’t know if he will see them again. Here he will go to school in Chernivtsi.

Nikita, a 12-year-old resident of eastern Donetsk, is also preparing to go to the same school as Mikhail in Chernivtsi. His sister, 5-year-old Yaroslava, was enrolled in kindergarten here. A new stage in children’s lives is beginning, which they still remember. They saw a war and fell away from the people they loved and the environment they were used to. Nikita and Yaroslava was brought to Chernivtsi by her father Oleksandr and mother Irina on March 14. The couple stayed in Ukraine because they are currently working with humanitarian organizations. Irina worked as an engineer in East Donetsk for many years. Oleksandr has been involved in humanitarian actions for seven years: Luhanks since 2015 and He is in constant contact with IDPs from Donetsk. Although he now lives their lives, he continues to work.

“On February 24, near our house weather the port was blown up. In Donetsk, our house was located in an area not controlled by the separatists. We also saw a war in 2014, but at that time the military situation covered only a limited area. This time it was something different, ”says Oleksandr.

Irina says that after the war they tried to stay in their hometowns for a long time. They spent most of the day in the shelter and part of the day at home:

“We only got home when we needed something urgently. The first days were frequent. Because there were no minimum facilities in the basement of the building. We lit a light, someone brought blankets from the house, someone brought small furniture… ”

“The children were terrified on the first day of the war,” Alexander added. – The airport was visible from our window, how the children shot himflour they witnessed. When I got home, both brothers were leaning against the wall in the hallway, waiting for me. As soon as they saw me, they said, “Father, take us out of here.”

The settlement where the family lives has been under intense fire since late February. Sitting in a shelter all day, sometimes stunned by bomb blasts or rockets, has a very bad effect on the psychology of children, they need to be rescued…

“There are still families left in East Donetsk,” Alexander said, shaking his head. – Humanitarian aid is delivered to them, albeit with difficulty. But they are not safe.

A family of four lived in a small room

Chernivtsi is one of the closest cities in Ukraine to Europe. Although there are no traces of war, explosions or destruction, people are reminded of everything: more than 60,000 IDPs have gathered in the city. They continue to flow here from different parts of the country, settling in every possible building, home and office. There are such families that, He prefers to stay in Ukraine: some are waiting for news from their lost family members, some whose documents are not ready yet. However, many turn to Romania to escape the war.

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