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  • Українці розповідають про пережите під час війни з росією

    Ukrainians talk about their experiences during the war with russia

    Ukraine in Poland

    Shvets L. “At night our train was shelled, but it all worked out”

    Ukrainians abroad

    АвторAuthor: Oleksandr Nikitin | Translation: Hanna Dzhyhaliuk

    13 July 2022

    Before the war Shvets L. was living in Kyiv, working as an artist and rehabilitating her daughter. During the evacuation, the train she and her children were in, was shelled. Despite everything they managed to get to Poland, where they are staying at the moment. She told her story exclusively for the Monologues of the war.

    Before the war I lived in Kyiv. There are two kids in our family. As my eldest daughter has been diagnosed with autism, in the last few years I’ve been involved in her rehabilitation. From time to time I worked as an artist. 

    I didn’t have any premonitions about the war. My husband asked me to go to my parents but I refused, because our kid was having rehabilitation and there were other unresolved issues. I thought everything was going to be fine. I knew the war began on the morning of 24 February, around 4:30-5 am, when my husband woke up and said something terrible had happened. We heard the explosions. The kids and I were very scared. We ran into the shelter and then we were hiding in the basement of one of the private houses.

    L. Shvets’ daughter with a drawn flag of Ukraine

    L. Shvets’ little daughter with a patriotic drawing

    I couldn’t go to safer regions with the kids anymore. And since we have a child with a disability, Maryna Honda helped to get us evacuated to Poland. Now I know, it was the right decision. Thank God, our family is safe. 

    “The people of Poland help as much as they can”

    I only knew the fact that we were going to Poland. It was a journey in the dark. The road was hard. There were 7-10 people in the compartment. People were everywhere. And so many children with special needs! At night our train was shelled, but luckily it all worked out, with God’s help. The whole journey took 33 hours.

    Read also: “I know how it feels to live every moment thinking it could be my last – to think that I might meet my unborn baby but in the otherworld”

    Since the beginning of my stay in Poland and until now, all Polish people have been helping as much as they can. They practically took over the full support of not only me and my children, but also many other families.

    Sebastian Drobka and Iwona Majorke are the people who found us a place to live. They took my older daughter to the rehabilitation center and the younger one to the kindergarten. I got a job in their institution, as an artist. There is not enough paper to write how much they have done for us. These are people with pure, sincere and open hearts!

    Polish town where the family is living

    A town in Poland where the family is now living

    My kids and I are going to go back to Ukraine. I believe it will be soon! I value many things in my life: my family, relatives, friends. I now appreciate them even more. When I get home I’ll try to meet my nearest and dearest more often.

    I think, after victory, our country will never be the same. We will be stronger, more caring, understand the meaning of the word “Volia” much better (“Volia” in Ukrainian means freedom and will, – translator’s note).

    Life in Poland

    Everyday life of the family in Poland

    P.S. My beloved husband, we haven’t seen each other since February 24. You are protecting us, and we are you too! When I come back to Ukraine, I’ll keep my promise. 

    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: Oleksandr Nikitin | Translation: Hanna Dzhyhaliuk

    Ukrainians abroad

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