Escape from the War: A Ukrainian Teen's Journey to Safety

20 лютого 2024, 19:53
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Escape from the War: A Ukrainian Teen s Journey to Safety

On the night of February 23rd to 24th, I was in Kyiv and I managed to sleep only 3 hours, and already at 6:13 am my father calls me

I am Ukrainian and I am 19 years old. On the night of February 23rd to 24th, I was in Kyiv and I managed to sleep only 3 hours, and already at 6:13 am my father calls me and says: “Daughter, the war has begun, collect the most important things, water, documents, some food, phone. Troops are advancing, martial law is being introduced now. Grab your elder sister and run to the shelter."

The tension was so terrible that it was impossible to eat and drink, sometimes even breathe. Going outside was scary. There were several of us guys, we cooperated and acted as we were told by the seniors in the dormitory.

As far as possible, we kept in touch with the parents. They were in Zaporozhye at that time. For about 5 days we lived and slept in shelters, as it was dangerous to sleep in the rooms and there were sirens almost every 30 minutes. They were always an alert.  Therefore, under such stress, we quickly forgot about sleep.

We were cooperated as a group of students. We all worried about our loved ones, as they did for us. We were not far from the airport, which was also bombed. We heard and felt the explosions and prayed to God not to fly into us. The city was defended by our military, but it was scary. Mom, dad, brother stayed in Zaporozhye, which is certainly close to the border with Russia. And we began to think about how to get out of here and there to Western Ukraine. The lines on the highways were long, we were on the road to Lviv with friends for 2.5 days. When we got to Lviv in the evening, we hardly found someone to stay before curfew. We thought it was safe here.

My mother and brother followed us. Dad stayed at home in Zaporozhye to protect the house from marauders, help the defense and be close to our grandparents. Mom and brother managed to leave only on the 9th-10th day of the war, they were also on the road for 3 days. They slept somewhere, ate only cookies with water.

When we met, we were very happy, but we continued to be afraid for our relatives in Zaporozhye, since the region was already being captured. We rushed about and tried to figure out how to proceed. When the murders took place in Bucha, Irpen, Borodyanka, Gostomel, we were shocked and furious.

A few days later, the situation became unsafe in Lviv, the sirens became more frequent, we became scared again and we realized that there were no more safe places left in Ukraine, since Belarus is also secretly fighting against us and throwing rockets. These horrors were confirmed when 6 rockets flew into the city, 3 of which were in our area, where we lived. One rocket exploded near the house where we were temporarily sheltered. The house shook terribly. There was smoke in the street both in the distance and near the house. We managed to run out to some small shelter in 3 minutes from the beginning of the siren and not to say that it was very reliable. It saved our lives. The next mass attack was a few days later. 10 rockets flew in and from 20 pm to 5 am we sat in the shelter. It was hard for us to bear it. Dad was afraid for our lives, although he himself was almost on the front line.

Many sirens start screaming in the evening when people want to go to sleep. It's hard to think that this is still going on. Every sound in the street is like an explosion. People are frightened.

After a while, we found out from the volunteer headquarters about the program from the British government to receive refugees from Ukraine. Parents were glad that we could be in a safe and reliable country. I applied and about half an hour later our sponsors wrote to us. They support us very much and we still hope to get a visa, as they have passed all the checks. We are lucky that my brother and I know English. (So ​​we applied to stay in Britain.) We got official permission from my parents for my twelve-year-old brother to come with me. Mom cannot go with us, because her dad is in a difficult health situation, she also cannot leave her husband and eldest daughter here, so she completely trusts me.

Our visas were delayed when we had such a tough situation and Britain was ready to accept the victims of the war, declared it loudly and publicly. We did not see an objective reason for postponing our visas. Sponsors were knocking on all doors to help us with visas. Wrote to the Home Office, the First Minister, Lord Harrington. We had been stuck in Ukraine for over 1 month. 

But now luckily we are living in Scotland almost 2 years and still with our fabulous sponsors Mr & Mrs Briggs and their dog Heidi.  They take great care of us as grandparents and give us a lot of support with their whole family. People like them are worth their weight in gold in our world. My brother is 14 and goes to school. They help me with him whenever I need it. I am studying at Strathclyde University in the 3rd year of my Bachelor's degree in Politics & International Relations and in Ukraine online. During this time, I had the opportunity to do an internship at the Scottish Parliament in the team of one of the MSPs. I am engaged in volunteering at AUGB and student activities as a Fundraising Officer at the Ukrainian Support Society in Strathclyde.

 My family is in Ukraine, they try to continue their lives there with an everyday war situation, which makes all of us feel upset. To this day when I visit home for a short period of time, I always sleep very uneasy at night and get up at any rustle. The war taught me to live ready for anything. 

Finally, one of the most important part of this story is that we are really grateful for such a welcoming people here. It gives us a chance for having a better life. 

 


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РОЗДІЛ: Новости мира
ТЕГИ: Шотландия,українці,війна,біженці
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