People from Ukraine fled to Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and the small country of Moldova. Some first-hand accounts – we spoke with refugees from Ukraine::
“We have to ensure the safety of our children, but when the war is over, we would like to return to Odessa.” – Kateryna and Oksana from Odessa, Ukraine.
Kateryna would like to return to Odessa but worries about the safety of her children that she, together with Oksana, have brought to Chişinău. “We have to protect our children. We would like to return to Odessa, but if the city is being bombed, we will not go there. We would like to wait in Moldova and then return to our homes.”
Olga, her mother-in-law and son Oscar (aged 2 years and 7 months) – from Mykolaiv, Donbas in Ukraine.
“To keep our child safe, we drove for three days to reach Chişinău. My husband and my father remained at the border. It was frightening. There were rumors that within 48 hours, war would begin. At 5 o’clock in the morning our parents called and told us about the explosions and the outbreak of the war. We packed a small suitcase with our important documents and belongings and left”, says Olga.
In Vinnitsa, they heard the military alarm which the Ukrainian authorities use to warn of Russian and Belarusian missiles.
“We left the car, grabbed the baby and took cover. It is frightening when grenades are dropping next to houses. In Mykolaiv, I had to leave my parents and my siblings. However, the Ukrainian army continues to hold ground, and on February 26th Russian tanks were destroyed in the center of Mykolaiv,”, says the young woman with optimism in her voice.
Olga explained that in the temporary refugee shelter in Moldexpo (International Exhibition Center – the first reception center for refugees from Ukraine) in Chişinău, refugees from Ukraine receive free warm clothes, warm food and children’s toys, which are so important for the people fleeing, while pets also receive the necessary food and care. “I would really like to return to our homeland in the city of Mykolaiv. As an alternative, we are considering Austria or Germany,t”, the young woman said.
“It is not my war,” says Alexej from Starobelsk, Luhansk in Ukraine
“Because of the hostilities, I had to flee to the nearest country, which turned out to be Moldova. I have been in Chişinău for three days now. I got out of Starobelsk at the very beginning, you could say at the most opportune moment: the city was deserted, civilians were replaced by the military, shooting had started, and I just barely caught a train out,” says a young man in a blue sports jacket with a slim-fitting gray jacket peeking out.
“I left Odessa for Chişinău. At customs, they let me pass as a political refugee without a Ukrainian domestic and foreign passport. Until the situation in Ukraine calms down, I will wait in Moldova. But if this continues, I will have to fill out the documents in Chişinău and travel to my acquaintances in Egypt,”, Alexej sighs sadly.
“The best option is to return to Odessa, where I can live and work. If someone wants to play war, why should I and many other people have to suffer? It’s not my war,” he said