Vera, Vorzel/Kiev/Toulouse


The beginning of the war did not take me by surprise — the impending disaster has been hanging in the information space since at least January. In February I did everything, except that she didn’t make a will. I went to the hairdresser and salon beauty. I called all my friends — I promised someone something and didn’t give it back. As a woman with a Soviet past, she paid for an apartment.

When I woke up at their place the next day, the first thing I did was call my fellow evacuees.

The cat was the most lucky, she got a carrier, a leash and a collar. And yet, I didn’t know exactly what to expect.

February 24 was canceled for me a trip to the Borodyansky animal shelter, followed by trips to work, commuter train flights and communication with Kiev — bridges were blown up, and entrances were blocked. On February 27, the first house on our street was on fire. And on the 28th, a shell had already destroyed my entrance. Now I understand the expression “death has come.” A minute ago I was on the phone, and now the windows are flying out, the house is falling apart, I am carried out into the corridor. I run into the bathroom, 10 I stand for a few minutes, pressed against the wall. The voice of my neighbor brings me out of my stupor:”It seems that our roof has been blown off.” I go out and see: and there is. The facade of the house looks like a sieve, instead of the 3rd floor – a funnel. Fortunately, everyone is alive,there was no one inside.

From that moment on, life finally entered a military rut. The situation was developing so fast that I could hardly keep the roof going in all directions. Once — and we are without a home. Two — without light, gas and water. Three — all gas stations are blown up, and a friend can’t buy gasoline for all the money in the world to take her family out.

During the first week of the war, I moved twice: first to my neighbors in OSBB [ukr.”ob’ednannya spivvlasnikiv bagatokvartirnogo budinka” — association
of owners of an apartment building], then to friends at the other end Vorzel. We were saved by the humanitarian corridor and human nobility.
When the evacuation was announced, everyone understood that they had to leave. But they didn’t know how. There are three adults, three children, a shepherd, a black terrier, two cats, a parrot and a hamster in the house. They won’t take animals on the bus, the car is standing without fuel. And then a woman comes from the next street. They were leaving for two cars, the third was refueled in the garage. She just gave us the keys to the third car, a Mazda. How we all fit in there is a separate story. For another week I dreamed about the mouth of the Abbot’s terrier, who tried to devour my cat on the road.

The distance that we usually they drove in 25 minutes, the gumconvoy took 10 hours. Thanks to everyone, we were not fired upon, we were not asked a single question why we violate curfew, at half past midnight heading to the center of Kiev. From friends there was a sister there, and I have friends who live near Khreshchatyk.

When I woke up at their place the next day, the first thing I did was call my fellow evacuees. It turned out that by 11 in the morning only a sister with
Vorzel animals remained in Kiev. The rest went by car at dawn through Poland to Spain. I was supposed to pick up the children from Barcelona by bus
the Spanish school where they studied online. A Kiev grandmother was taken to the place freed from the animals, who had a nervous breakdown from everything she had experienced. She spent three weeks in a Polish hospital, and only after that everyone was able to move on. Bus from Barcelona them, naturally, I did not wait, so now the whole company is on Tenerife.

I correspond with them from Toulouse, which was not part of my plans at all. On a Ukrainian salary, I could afford one day in Paris, this is at best. If not for the activity of my social department companies, I don’t even know where I would write this post. I found it in two days bus Kiev-Krakow, volunteers from France responded, they gave me a map of movement in Europe.

Now I have temporary protection in France for six months. There is everything you need and even the opportunity to work online. It is very difficult to talk about returning. Vorzel is “freed” from everything normal at least until autumn. Restoration of the apartment and entrance — this is an even longer time. I reassure myself that this is just a move.For a time that just hasn’t been determined yet. I read the news in the morning from Ukraine and I remember the classic: “Everything will pass.” I repeat this as a mantra and hope for the best

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Nastya Krasilnikova

Nastya Krasilnikova’s channel about women and their rights.

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