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  • Українці розповідають про пережите під час війни з росією

    Ukrainians talk about their experiences during the war with russia

    Anastasiia Kashoid

    “I crossed the border on my own on foot”. The story of Cherkasy journalist’s evacuation to the Czech Republic

    Ukrainians abroad

    АвторAuthor: Yulia Zarudnitska | Translation: Lola Khabibova

    20 September 2022

    Anastasiia Kashoid is a 20-year-old journalist who has been serving on the information front from the very beginning of a full-scale invasion. On the 17th of March, she eventually decided to evacuate. Anastasiia told “Monologues of the war” about her work in the Czech Republic, her evacuation experience, and the things that prompted her to move abroad. 

    I am from Uman oblast and I receive my education there, but one day I’ve wished for some changes and that’s why I’ve been living in Cherkasy for more than half a year. So, there I started working on one of the lead TV channels in the oblast. I held the position of a journalist and over time the position of a presenter in the program “Za filizhankoiu kavy”. I felt as comfortable as possible back then and wanted to live here and now. The environment, the team, and the people around mean a lot. In a relatively short period of time in Cherkasy, I felt that I belonged there.

    I happen to be the youngest child in the family, so for them, I will always be their little Nastia. My family is extremely pleased with my success, they share troubles with me, always helping to solve them. Sometimes such overprotection seems excessive, but there is undoubtedly some special warmth in it.

    However, when the full-scale invasion began, we couldn’t find a common solution and the first few weeks were extremely morally challenging. Despite the difficult situation in the country, constant monitoring of news (which of course did not evoke positive emotions), and coverage of them on the TV channels, fanned the flames and encouraged the talk about leaving. I wanted to stay because my loved ones were there, but I also understood the seriousness of the situation, so it was necessary to take care of my safety.

    On the 17th of March, I decided to leave Ukraine. My family and I had long conversations and considered all possible options before making the decision. We all had negative thoughts, although it was relatively calm in Cherkasy, compared with the situation in other oblasts. I would even say that we had negative expectations for the future because the general situation was unstable and we always asked ourselves the “what if…” question. So, my family encouraged me to make this decision, but I had to leave alone because my parents and my brother stayed in Ukraine, my mother did not want to leave my dad here, and I had to go for the safety and peace of my family.

    Working on TV

    The routine of working on TV

    I chose the Czech Republic because of the most trivial reasons, I had relatives here. We did not communicate very closely with them before the war, it would be right to say that we spoke from time to time. But, as practice shows, people usually find each other in difficult situations. They welcomed me gladly and helped me.

    I crossed the border quickly on my own on foot

    By the way, I got there by shuttle, though, I know that there are evacuation trains run on a regular basis. My acquaintances visited me using these trains. I reached the Polish border with a shuttle and then crossed it by foot. It seemed difficult at first but it turned out to be much easier than I expected. I crossed the border quickly with the help of the State Border Guard Service’s telegram channel. There were updates every two hours with the information on the number of people who were crossing the border. It helped me to find out where I could do it faster. The line was not long but there was an important requirement that women and children had to go first.

    Then, volunteers help and guide you on how to reach other countries.

    I live with my relatives but the volunteer movement system in the Czech Republic is impelling

    There are a lot of help centers in every town, so when you arrive from Ukraine, you can refer to any of them. I live in the Liberec Region and there is also a center like this. You come with your documents (if you didn’t have time to receive your passport, you can come with your internal ID card), then volunteers will help you. There are no problems with language either. Even if you don’t speak Czech or even English, there is always a volunteer who speaks Ukrainian. They give you the form in which you have to fill out your contact information along with the form concerning your residence in which you specify whether you have a place to stay or whether the volunteers have to find something for you.


    Me in Dinopark

    I also know that they send people to places with a lot of displaced persons, however, I don’t know under what conditions they live there because I haven’t been in such places. The fact is that the housing is provided. Sleeping space can be arranged in a school or any other organization with a relatively comfortable environment. Walking around the city, I’ve noticed a lot of support for Ukrainians. For example, if you possess a Ukrainian ID, you have free access to gyms, swimming pools, and other courses. There is also support for children, they are enrolled in schools with the learning process adapted for them. In general, people have a good attitude.

    I’ve never felt uncomfortable during my stay in Czechia. People here more or less understand Ukrainian, maybe, linguistic affinity plays its part, so familiar phrases help to find a common ground.

    Embroidery Parade in Prague

    Prague, Embroidery Parade

    As a matter of fact, when I registered to receive some special documents, I was given a dictionary with the most common phrases.

    The work in Czechia

    It wasn’t difficult to find a job. There are a few variants for Ukrainians: you can ask your acquaintances about it, simultaneously looking for a job advertisement on the internet, register in the employment center, or you can try to do it like me, entering Czech job sites and try your own luck.

    I didn’t speak Czech, so my English saved me. After a month-long search, I came across the position of content specialist. We had a job interview, a test task, and some emails and it’s been half a year since I work as a graphic designer in the Czech legal service. By the way, some Czech companies put a small Ukrainian flag as a special mark near the position they are offering. It means that they are ready to сonsider an applicant from Ukraine.

    Read also: Tetiana Chernyshova: “I want to come back to Mariupol and find my child’s grave”

    I fully adapted to the Czech Republic and my new working place. But my heart and soul are with people from Cherkasy. I extremely miss my parents, colleagues, and friends. I want to return to Ukraine and sit together in the kitchen like in good old times, having sincere conversations, joking, and sharing secrets.

    Чому важливо поширити цю історію?
    Якщо українці не розповідатимуть свій погляд на війну в Україні, світ поступово забуватиме про нас. Натомість цим обов’язково скористаються росіяни. Тому не даймо їм жодного шансу.

    Why is it important to share this story?
    If Ukrainians do not share their views on the war in Ukraine, the world will gradually forget about us. Instead, the Russians will definitely take advantage of this. So let's not give them a chance.

    АвторAuthor: Yulia Zarudnitska | Translation: Lola Khabibova

    Ukrainians abroad

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