A Ukrainian mother who scribbled on her daughter’s back with a pen as she prepared to flee the war has described her desperation to ensure she would be taken care of if they were separated.
Asha Makoviy, 33, wrote two-year-old Vira’s name along with phone numbers on her skin on the first day of the Russian invasion in February as she prepared to evacuate her home in Kyiv.
Through tears, she said: “I decided to put the information on Vira’s back because I was really scared. She is the most precious thing in my life, so I couldn’t imagine that we would lose each other.
“I thought if I died she might find out who she is, what family she comes from and maybe find some trusted people to take care of her.
Ms Makoviy, an artist who has now fled to the south of France with Vira, posted the picture to Instagram on Friday.
It has since gone viral, both on Instagram and Twitter, where it received more than 200,000 likes after being shared by a reporter.
Ms Makoviy said the picture resonated with her compatriots.
“First it was shared by some of my friends and then it was shared by Ukrainians. It really touches her because thousands of other parents have had to do it,” she said.
“One of my followers texted me that she even put the words ‘Please take care of my baby.’ She wrote it on the baby just in case.
“That’s how we all feel in our country.”
Ms Makoviy recalled the morning she took the photo – as Russian forces were coming across the border.
She said she was “trembling badly” and “couldn’t concentrate on anything” as she struggled to come to terms with what was happening.
As they prepared to leave after writing the information on Vira’s back, she said she realized she could have done better.
She said she should have used a permanent marker, adding: “I was shaking so bad all the words were written horribly.
“But it’s so strange that in the 21st century I have to do something like this. It’s incredible. It’s so terrible because in Kyiv I had everything I need: a beautiful life, a peaceful life.
“I even did everyday chores while we packed our things. I did some things like make the bed and wash the dishes because I couldn’t even realize it was real and we had to leave home.”
Now she and Vira are safe in France where they get “a lot of help” and the “people are so nice”.
But Ms Makoviy said her anxiety levels remain high.
“Even here in France, when we’re out in the countryside with Vira, I’m scared of something like mines at any moment,” she said.
https://www.independent.ie/world-news/europe/ukrainian-mother-writes-contact-details-on-her-two-year-old-daughters-back-in-pen-in-case-she-is-killed-41523998.html Ukrainian mother writes contact details on her 2-year-old daughter’s back in case she is killed