Nastya, Kharkiv / Lviv
My name is Nastya. I lived in Lviv for about seven years, and two months ago we decided to return to Kharkiv. On the day the war started, my husband woke me up with a call at 5:39. He shouted into the phone that we were being bombed so that I would grab the children and wait for him.
My name is Nastya. I lived in Lviv for about seven years, and two months ago we decided to return to Kharkiv. On the day the war started, my husband woke me up with a call at 5:39. He shouted into the phone that we were being bombed so that I would grab the children and wait for him. We decided at that moment to try to go to Kyiv, and then to Lviv. When we ran out to the minibus – it was no longer possible to call a taxi — there were a lot of people on the street, they ran to the shops to buy groceries. We got into the minibus to the sounds of explosions.
When we arrived at the bus station, it turned out that our the bus was canceled. We returned home, collected food, and went to the bomb shelter to the school near our house. We stayed there for 5 hours and returned home for the night. Our apartment looked like a barricade: we taped the windows, dragged the mattress away from the windows. We lived in the neighborhood Saltovka is one of the most shelled districts of Kharkiv. Sometimes it seemed to me that the walls were shaking from the explosions.
On the third day, we miraculously reached the railway station. There we sat for 8 hours waiting for the train. How we got on the train is a separate story.
Imagine people trying to get out of a burning building during a fire. Everyone doesn’t care if you’re with a child or not. When we tried to get on the train, the youngest son lost a boot. He was squeezed by the crowd and we had to pull him out of the crowd by force and throw him into the car. We went to Lviv for a day, sitting in the corridor of the train. The children managed to find a half seat so that they could somehow sleep.
My relatives stayed in Kharkiv, in the most shelled areas. Other relatives – in Starobilsk. It’s scary there too now. I call them every hour and a half, and when we say goodbye, I have a feeling that I may not hear them anymore.
Since the beginning of the war, I stopped sleeping normally. Now I get up at 5:30. My hands are shaking. Even being in Lviv, seemingly safe, I look around and get scared of loud noises. I have many relatives in Russia and the most shocking thing is that not all of them believe in what is happening in Ukraine. It seemed to me that no one had any doubts about how scary it was. I’m watching a video of the area where I was walking a few weeks ago, and I see how these houses are being bombarded with hail. I get news every day from my friends who have rockets exploding in neighboring houses. I am waiting with horror that I can read about my friends or relatives, what has arrived for them, and I will no longer be able to call them. When I don’t get a reply in telegram or Instagram for a long time to the question “how are you?”, I begin to suspect the worst.
To be honest, I’m recording this audio message because I really want people to know the truth. No one is freeing us. Nothing threatened us. The life that before seemed unreal, as if it was invented, only fear and anxiety remained. I completely stopped thinking about anything other than the war. There was nothing left but the horror that I could lose my loved ones, my beloved city. I want it to stop.