Sofia, Mariupol/Tbilisi

My name is Sofia, my husband is Kostya. We were teachers at school No. 30 in Mariupol, lived near the Komsomolets cinema.
This year was not a good one for us from the very beginning. In January, we got sick with a cold. After leaving the hospital, my husband fell ill with chickenpox. When he recovered, I got sick with covid: I did the first test before the war, I had to do the second on March 2, but there was nowhere else to go.
On February 21-22, I managed to buy medicines for myself and get a sick leave. On February 24, we received a call from the school to tell the children to stay at home. So we found out that the war began… On the same day we bought train tickets for March 2.

It was the middle of March, there were many corpses, graves, destroyed houses, burned cars.

No one expected such a long war, because we had the experience of 2014. In the first days there were even evacuation trains, but we decided to leave on our tickets in the hope that either we could persuade our parents to come with us, or we wouldn’t have to go anymore.

On March 2, all flights were canceled, the lights, water and mobile communication were turned off, only gas remained. By March 2, I recovered from covid, but on March 5 I got chickenpox. It was good that the medicines remained after her husband’s illness, since by that time there were no shops or pharmacies.
A freezer full of semi-finished products (a stupid habit: buy and forget about it) saved our lives. We ate these supplies once a day for two weeks. On March 7
, the gas was turned off, people began to cook on bonfires near the entrance. So we started communicating with the neighbors. We were lucky that we put a boiler in the apartment, it became our drinking water, other people went to get water to the mosque.

By March 12, I recovered from chickenpox, but the traces still remain — we haven’t washed for a month. The first two weeks my dad came to us, then he went
my husband has already gone to them, I ran away once… This run was enough to understand that Mariupol will be completely erased. It was the middle of March, there were many corpses, graves, destroyed houses, burned cars. There are wires everywhere, unexploded shells or craters, a lot of glass on the ground and empty
houses. I went to my parents because it seemed that it was quiet that day. From our house to my parents’ — a block, but running across the street Bakhchivanji, we heard the sounds of battle, shells were flying over our heads, someone was shouting at us, we ran…

By March 26 to the parents’ house already 6 shells hit from both sides, there was no 5th floor (they lived on the 2nd), the house opposite burned down, the yard turned into porridge. On March 27, my parents and grandfather came to us with their belongings, ready to leave. There was one in our garage the old lady is a six, she is more than 30 years old. My parents were afraid that she would break down or be taken away by looters, but I said that even if she
was taken away somewhere, we would get out of the hot spot. My husband and I left the apartment with one suitcase for two and a computer. We drove along the road that the driver of the “Red Cross” suggested to us, we met him in our yard the day before departure. Then through Berdyansk. Here we wanted to go to
Zaporozhye, but the way was unsafe, so we went further with our parents through the Crimea, Krasnodar… Driving through the territory of Russia was
scarier than being under fire. I breathed freely when I found myself in Georgia.

Now we are in Tbilisi. Two weeks before the war, I got a remote job and was able to return to it. Having gained access to the information, I understand that we left on time and that Mariupol really won’t stay.
Before the war, we played War and Magic. We have formed a union of players from Ukraine and Russia. When we caught the connection and a month later wrote that we were alive, the players from Russia collected money for us (we did not ask — from the heart), a man in his car came to the Crimea to pick us up, although we had not seen each other at all before. The girl who she sent me your channel, also plays this game, it is located in Russia.

There are good people everywhere, so our friends from Russia and people in Georgia helped us a lot. My husband’s parents are still in Mariupol, my
grandmother and uncle stayed there. They were alive when we left. Now I don’t know anything about them.

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Nastya Krasilnikova

Nastya Krasilnikova’s channel about women and their rights.

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