Tatiana (36), Matvii (4)

Monday, March 7, 2022, Inovec

...it's inhuman to kill each other. Stop, don't do it!

"I came with my little son from the capital Kiev. I heard a "boom" at 5 a.m. that morning and got the call from my sons father that the war started shortly after. He told me: "You have 10 minutes to pack!" I woke up my son. He had to feel that something is going on as he went to the toilet and kept sitting there. The fear he felt caused problems with his stomach. Within 10 minutes from the call we were leaving the city."

"We went to Cherkasy Oblast first. My parents stayed in Kiev, they are retired and they said it's too difficult for them to travel and that they will take care of our house in Kiev. 

We live in Obolonskyi District. There was a lot of bombing going on in the first days. My parents are fine at the moment, I call them every day, but I don't know what to do and how to help them. It is not safe for them to stay there. They were hiding in the shelter on the first day, it was too cold and dirty there. My father has health issues and he said he couldn't stay there anymore, because his condition would get worse. They are living on the second floor, so I am hoping they will be safe there. If a building is hit by a missile, it's usually upper floors. My sons father stayed in Ukraine. He is in Uzhhorod now."

"My sister was staying with her kids and husband close to the borders with Belarus, cooking for the army. Her husband decided to send her to a safer place when they got the news that the Russians could start attacking from Belarus. She's now in Poland. Our family is separated, everyone is somewhere else."

When we stayed in Cherkasy District, the sirens went off several times a day and every time we were running to the shelter from the ninth floor and then back. It was a dangerous place as it was possible that we would get struck. I really don't remember how long we have stayed in the shelter, maybe for 5 days. My son was sleeping there in cold, people inside were scared and nervous. Then we decided to go away. It was dark everywhere in the middle of the night, because the street lights and basically any light has been turned off for safety reasons. We crossed the borders to Moldova first, we travelled by car. I didn't know where to go next. We saw a lot of military vehicles and personnel along the way, it was scary. We were sleeping in a car. We crossed 4-5 countries to come here. We have spent 3 days on busses, on the trains with no sleep, it was difficult. But we are strong. I don't know what to do next. I will think about it later. I have to calm down, I am still not able to think normally. I need to process everything. Of course I want to go back home, because I have family there, I want to go back to normal life."

"My son couldn't sleep last night. I gave him a toy and he's been hugging it and talking about grandma, grandpa, our home. It was like he was hugging it all. He is small, he cannot explain what he feels with words, but I can see that he is scared. These kids will need a psychologist to help them, adults too. This is a safe place but when I hear a plane I am scared. Just like when a helicopter flew over this place yesterday. Or when we see a large car, we worry."

"I told my son there's a war. I asked him if he understands why we are here, he said because it's war. It's not our decision to be here, we had to do it. I was surprised to see how many people have helped. This world is a good place because people are helping each other, they have wonderful souls, they have love in their hearts. In any situation people should stay human. It's inhuman to kill each other, there is no explanation for that! I don't understand it, how can anyone support this war and even say that there is no war if they have a child, a husband? We should raise children in happiness and peace. Stop it, don't do it! Don't grow violence in yourself! Stop, don't do it!"