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Anatoly is alone in Lviv.

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I've been here ever since. I have no plans, maybe I'll stay until I die.

Anatoly, Lviv

Meet Anatoly

My city, Kramatorsk, was shelled with artillery and rockets from the first day of the war. There is a lot of industry in the city, especially a large engineering factory. I think that’s why it was of great military interest to the Russians.

I had pneumonia and was in the hospital for 6 weeks. I was taken straight from there to the train. A doctor accompanied me. I only have my travel bag, which I also took with me to the hospital, my documents and plate, cup, and cutlery. 

On April 7, I left Kramatorsk by train. The train went through Kyiv right here to Lviv. We were traveling for 24 hours. It was very crowded. There were about 150 people in a carriage. The train had 12 or 13 carriages. So, there were over 1500 of us on that train alone. 

In the beginning, I was housed in a theatre downtown for a few days. I now live in a gym at the Lviv Polytechnic University, turned into a temporary shelter. Around 300 people are accommodated here. 

I’ve been here ever since. I have no plans, maybe I’ll stay until I die. 

My wife died in 2007. I live alone. I have a daughter, but we haven’t been in touch since 2014. I don’t have a cell phone or her number. I think she’s still in Kramatorsk. 

I don’t even know if the house I lived in is still standing. Where should I go? 

My joints hurt, especially my knees. I have worked hard all my life. First as a miner, then as a truck driver. When it was no longer physically possible, I did one-time jobs, plastering facades or helping with the roofing. 

I’ve been retired for a year now. My pension is 2000 hryvnia (about $67.80). 

Here we are provided with everything we need, but it is very uncomfortable when there are so many people in such a small space. A gypsy family lives next to me with three small children. They are very nice. But home is much better. 

The food here is tasty, but I cook better. 

What to do here? Sleep, eat, and walk a bit. The park around the gym is very nice. But I don’t have anything, not even a radio. 

What can I say, every smile is difficult. This war and this situation are worse than a nightmare. 

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