Ukrainians fleeing war fear they will never see their homes or loved ones again – World News

Thousands of women and children cross the border into Poland to escape devastation in Ukraine, as men trying to flee Putin’s invaders are sent back to fight.

A Ukrainian woman is extremely emotional when crossing the border to Poland
A Ukrainian woman is extremely emotional when crossing the border to Poland

Thousands of people fleeing Ukraine and the bloody war under Putin appear to be the lucky ones. But here, in the Polish border town of Medyka, you’d never know it.

There was little celebration and even fewer smiles among weary adults and children wrapped in blankets and clutching their shorts.

Safety from Russian invasion had come at a terrible price – perhaps the last time separating fathers, husbands, brothers and sons.

The refugees are scared and all tell you the same thing: “I don’t know if I will ever see my loved ones or my home again.” In just two days, 100,000 Ukrainians fled to Poland.

Mostly women and children, men between the ages of 18 and 60 are being stopped by Ukrainian border guards and ordered to stay and fight the occupying Russian forces.

Women and children walk to Poland’s relative safety as the war in Ukraine escalates


AFP via Getty Images)

The United Nations believes that a total of 120,000 people have left Ukraine in the past 48 hours, many of them to Moldova, Romania, Lithuania and Latvia. Some estimate as many as five million people may eventually be displaced.

“This is the biggest humanitarian crisis in Europe since the Second World War,” said Red Cross worker Monika Kotulk, helping at a school in Medyka, home to 60 refugees.

She said more and more people are trying to get to Poland and now have to wait 20 hours.

“All lines are operating at full capacity and this will continue in the coming days.”

Among those at the border was Thomas, 43, pushing a shopping trolley while his sister-in-law Viktoria, 28, held their one-year-old child, Michael. The Kyiv mother and son had to cross the border without a husband when Ukrainian guards ordered him to stay and fight.

Thomas, who lives in Poland, said: “I’m glad that at least some of the families are here, but we all need to be together.”

Victoria and her son Michael with brother-in-law Thomas in the Polish town of Medyka


© Stan Kujawa)

Office worker Olena Talimonchuk, 31, clutched her 5-year-old son Alex’s hand, trying to hold back tears as she told how she begged her parents, both in their 60s, to let them travel from the area. Lviv region.

Her father refuses to give up the family home and their precious animals, including two dogs, a guinea pig, a guinea pig, and a rabbit. She said: “He started building houses with his own hands when he was 18 years old. There were controversies, but he was determined to stay and look after the house. I’m really worried about both. ”

Olena also worries about how the war might affect her son’s psyche in the future. She said: “Alex was with my parents when the bombings started on Thursday and explosions could be heard.”

She hoped he didn’t fully understand what was going on. Nearby, 20-year-old Lilia Bokhonska lovingly hugged her mother Ninel, 48, a math teacher from the western city of Chmielnicki, after she made the 13-hour journey to join her.

The couple and Lilia’s 27-year-old brother were safe, but she terrified many of her friends.

Lilia Bokhaska and her mother Ninel


© Stan Kujawa)

Lilia, who studied public management in the Polish city of Krakow, said: “I have many friends who have stayed. I’m keeping in touch with them on the phone and on social media, but I’m really scared for them. I don’t know if I’ll ever see them or my home again.”

The Polish government has opened eight reception centers along its 332-mile shared border with Ukraine, turning sports arenas, schools and community centers into temporary homes for refugees. .

Officials have announced that they expect to take in at least one million Ukrainian refugees.

Regular visa requirements have been suspended and Ukrainians have been told they can even bring their own pets. Helpers from the Polish Red Cross and other charities are on hand, along with around 600 British troops helping to keep the safe.

As tens of thousands of people fled Ukraine yesterday, some brave patriots took another route, to fight.

Among them is a gang of four builders led by married father of three Vlad Telehii. They are working in Poland and are currently planning against Putin’s army in Lviv.

Vlad Telehii (right) and a friend plan to stay and fight Putin’s troops


© Stan Kujawa)

Standing at the border, Vlad, 33, said: “I want to fight for my country. I will do it for my children”. Vlad’s brother Ivan, 34, added: “We have to protect our country and our family. At first the police said we couldn’t cross the border, but now they say it’s okay. We’re ready to go.”

Iryna Demkiv, 32, was also traveling by train from Przemysl in Poland to Lviv. She said: “I’m carrying medicine that I’m going to give out and I want to volunteer.

“It is impossible not to be scared, but I want to unite with my family and help people. It’s a terrible situation and I fear for my country. This should not happen in the 21st century”.

Ordinary Poles helped restore the faith of thousands of Ukrainian refugees in humanity through acts of great generosity. Businesses gave out water, bread, meat, cheese and cookies.

And with reception centers, hotels and dormitories packing hundreds of miles away, some are offering spare rooms in their homes. Drivers were holding homemade paper signs offering free trips to cities like Warsaw and Krakow, a few hours away. And mobile sims are being handed over.

One volunteer said: “We just wanted to help. We don’t want anything in return – it’s the right thing to do.

“These people have done nothing wrong and are the victims of a madman. Who knows – maybe he’ll target us next. We must fight evil together.”

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