"In their words"
A first hand account from Ukraine
It was an early morning of the 24 of February. We woke up from loud sounds. It was 5 o’clock and something awful was happening. There were sounds of bombing Kulbakino Military Airport. We were afraid. Then Mum opened the window and we saw huge military planes in the sky. My elder sister phoned from Kyiv. She was crying: “War. War.” We were afraid and we didn’t know what to do.
That Thursday was a day of distance learning so at 8.30 school started. It was a Biology lesson. We had a test. But I couldn’t think. Thanks God it was the first and the last lesson. All day we watched TV/CNN NEWS. Mum packed my school bag with water, napkins, some food and documents. And we went to the basement of our house. It wasn’t a good place, there were no steps down so jumped down. We met our neighbours there and and began to make the basement more comfortable. We brought some chairs, candles, water. Then we came back home and tried to protect the windows. We put some sticky lines onto the glass. And in the evening we heard the warning alarm. We ran down to the basement and sat there for some hours. One of our neighbours was a military man and he told us a lot of useful information. So we got to know that we have 15-20 minutes if helicopters fly from Crimea to bomb Mykolaiv.
For three days we stayed in the basement from alarm to alarm. We went up home only to eat. Shops were closed and there wasn’t any transport in the streets. The railway station was destroyed too.
The 4th day was calm so we went to the nearest school to help. Mum knitted protective nets and I put some sand into the plastic bags to build block-posts in Mykolaiv.
The next days were full of alarms again. We stayed in the basement and news only. There was some Internet in one place. Our military neighbour wasn’t with us/ His wife said that he went to the war to Mariupol.
One evening Russian tanks went into Mykolaiv and it was a battle in the Tsentralny Avenue near the monument of the Second World War’sTank. Major of our city told that the bridges are mined so there is no way out of our city and we should stay in the basement. We were nervous and afraid.
One day there was an invasion of Russian soldiers from the helicopters. We heard the sounds and the lights of a battle in the streets nearby.
So some dangerous days passed away. Ukrainian army made everything possible to save our city. President Zelensky has honoured our city the Hero status. And then we received an opportunity to be evacuated. Mum and I came to Khmelnitsky.
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More than half of Ukraine’s children have been displaced from their homes since February. Your donation helps Living Water Children’s Fund provide electronic devices and other supplies for access to online learning at Sokal Lyceum, a school providing teachers for classes through the Online Lviv Regional School for Refugees.