Ekaterina, 70, from Voznesensk, Ukraine

Ekaterina arrived in Moldova along with thousands of other refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine. Having just crossed the border, she shares her experience.

I am 70 years old. I am from Voznesensk, a town in southern Ukraine.

I came to Moldova with my grandson’s wife and my great-grandson. My grandson stayed in Ukraine to defend the country. My great-grandson is one year old and is now without a father or peace and quiet. The war separates souls.

I pray for my grandson and for all who are fighting now for our motherland Ukraine.

After dozens of hours on the road, in the cold, we finally got to a place where we now feel safe. We have relatives in Moldova and we are going to live with them.

The situation in which we are now, along with the whole world, feels like a nightmare.

From the first day, I watched the news on TV about what was happening in my country, I couldn’t believe it. I went to bed thinking that when I woke up, everything will be over, but, unfortunately, this was not the case. More and more innocent people are suffering, and this is the most painful thing.

At the time of our evacuation from Voznesensk, there was military fighting. While we were packing, we heard the alarm and the bombing nearby. We didn’t know how to get out of the house quickly and safely. In my 70s, for the first time in my life, I felt a fear that I cannot explain.

By the time we left, half of the city had been destroyed. After we left, the bridges were destroyed, and the city barricaded.

I felt horrified, especially because my children were blocked in another city and could not leave the territory.

My soul hurts for the children who suffer in this war. More and more children are being born in the Kyiv metro and other shelters designed for refugees. May they all be healthy.

I still hope that everything will end soon. I wish that when everything is over, we will have a place to return to. I would not survive this if the house where I have lived for my whole life and into which I put so much of my soul, would no longer exist.

I pray to the Lord to protect my loved ones from any harm, so that when the time comes, we will go back to Ukraine, and have a place to live.

I want people to be wise and aware of the danger they face and to understand that other people’s lives should not be neglected. Ambition is useless. We have reached a peak when people are dying, children are suffering, mothers are crying because they do not know what their children’s life will be like after the war. If this situation continues for a long time, it could lead to a third world war.

I want more than anything to feel peaceful again. Right now, I don’t need anything but a place to sleep.

I am grateful to the Moldovans for their hospitality, but my greatest desire is to return to Ukraine and find my loved ones and my home safe and sound.


By HelpAge International team in Moldova

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