THE WAY TO NOWHERE
A week or even two before everything started I expected the Russian army would invade both from the side of the Ukrainian - Belorussian border and in the east as there were so many troops gathered and ready to attack!
And it has come… the day of the invasion! It was about 5 a.m. the 24th of February when rockets started exploding all over Ukraine, as well as not far from a small village which was very close to one of the biggest airports in the country, where my mom lived. Earth started shaking from heavy explosions, sounds of shelling were clearly heard in my native town of Brovary and the neighboring city of Kyiv. Rockets hit blocks of flats and it was a terrifying reality.
There had been three sleepless nights before we had to leave our home. The last one was most difficult. We woke up with the sound of explosions and crashing noise. We jumped into the car and set off. We picked up my friend, who was waiting for us on the roadside with her family, and moved on.
A siren was wailing over the city, the rumble of explosions from the outskirts was heard. Everything was already different. There were queues of people who were trying to get their money from cash machines or cars whose owners were trying to fill them with petrol.
We were heading nowhere as there was nowhere to go. Just away from the horror of war. It took us three days to get to safety with just a short break of a few hours to have a sleep . One of my friends, who lived in the Transcarpathian Region, sheltered us. That was a new chapter of our journey.
After a while, as there was a need to do something meaningful, we arranged a first aid course. I am a tutor butI wasn’t able to teach as I was in agony, so I decided to join the Red Cross as a volunteer.
Usually, I had a late shift that lasted five hours. There were such nice locals, who had left their routine lives, classes, and families to help those who were stuck on the border and didn't lose hope of fleeing the war.
We did our best to help those in need.
One family impressed me very much. They were two women, a mom and a daughter, with two young children. One of the girls looked like a shadow and didn’t say a word. Another was holding her toy tightly and said nothing as well. I offered them to sit by the fire and get warm as it was February and was freezing cold. They walked for quite a long time but refused to eat or drink as many others feeling shocked. However, when I gave her some fruit tea and told the little girl a story about magic tea, which I had brought to her. It worked out, so the little girl smiled and started telling me about herself. Her name was Nadya and I told her my name was Liubov. The girl was surprised as in Ukraine there’s such a holiday of three saints: Vira, Nadiya, Liubov. She gave me a hug, told her mom about the magic tea and there was trust and happiness in her eyes. She was holding my hand tightly and didn’t want to leave long but finally said “Goodbye”.
Two months passed and I realized it was time to go home. Although there was still the danger of rocket shelling it was time to go back to reality.
Terrible damage, ruined homes, broken military equipment and destroyed roads were on the roadsides. In Kyiv there wasn’t any fuel. Prices were extremely high for the food. It was our new life just to begin.