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Olya 26 y.o.

Before Russian aggression lived in Brovary (near Kyiv)

My Story

On February 24, my terrible nightmare came true. War. Russia attacked.

Rockets falling from the sky, panic and fear are all around. In the midst of the chaos, I try to persuade my parents to go abroad to save their lives. I know that we have little time, because I already see the names of murdered innocent people in the news.

Dad comforts me and my sister that it will end soon; they say it will only take a few days. We did not dare to run that day.

We, like most people, decided that we needed to stock up on food. Having gathered our senses, we went to the nearest store. I was so scared as soon as we left the house.

I've seen mothers with their children in their arms stacking bags of things in cars, looking around embarrassed, I heard men shouting at their wives, "Quickly run, the Russian occupiers are already approaching our city."

We went to the store, my sister, my dad, my mom and me. I spent my last energy holding back tears. I wanted my little sister not to see that we panic, we stick together, and we will survive.

In the store we were met by half-empty shelves. We were lucky enough to buy almost everything we needed. So the four of us returned home, alive but scared.

At night, due to the horrific explosions, I hardly slept. And spent the whole next day reading the news. I remember the number of dead people growing every hour. Explosions again at night, they become more frequent, they get closer.

At that moment, I decided to run. Unfortunately, men between the ages of 18 and 60 were forbidden to leave the country. My father was 50. My mother said she would stay with him, and my younger sister said she would not go without her mother. For almost a day I tried to convince my family, and in the end I was forced to go alone.

Calling all my acquaintances in the morning, I found a man and a woman who agreed to take me with them to Poland. They were going to their son. The road was long. Traffic jams were waiting for us in every city. We slept in the car for two nights. Ten kilometers to the border with Poland, a woman who was in the car with me lost consciousness. My hope changed to fear again. The ambulance drove through the traffic jam for over an hour. She was rushed away unconscious. For four hours I walked alone to the border; the snow turned into hail and then into the sun. On March 29th, I set foot on Polish soil. On this day I felt homesick for the first time, and this day gave me a chance at life.