We are a family from Kherson city. We both use wheel-chairs.

We are a family from Kherson city. We both use wheel-chairs.
22 Квітня 2022
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We were living in our own cottage. On February 24, we were woken up by loud explosions of rockets on Chornobaivka aerodrome! It was the beginning of a full-scale war!
Within one day, people swept away everything from grocery stores, pharmacies, ATMs, and fuel at gas stations.
Since the very first days of the war, Kherson has been under siege. Volunteers helped us with food and hygiene products. Fighting continued every day on the outskirts of the city, and loud explosions were heard. We would hide in a safer room without windows in our house. We arranged sleeping places in the room, reserved some water and food and kept an evacuation backpack with documents at hand.
There were no green corridors, as the Russian military did not allow them. But people were starting to leave on their own at their own risk through the sites of hostilities. With each day of the war, more and more people wanted to leave, and many people would go out to take part in peaceful rallies in support of Ukraine. The humanitarian pressure was growing, and people we know and activists began to disappear. Our psychological state was getting worse. The crucial point for our decision to evacuate was the atrocities by Russian military in Bucha and Irpin towns.
Which road to go by? How should we prepare for that? What can happen along the way? How will mobile communication work? We looked for answers to these questions in telegram channels, and people who had managed to escape shared the route and advice how to behave during the inspection at Russian checkpoints, the number of those checkpoints, and tips on deleting dangerous information from phones.
On April 7, we finally took a decision to start moving! We left our house at 5:30 during the curfew, got into a convoy of cars and reached the first post at 6:00. The route led through villages, where you needed to drive quickly across road pits and along rolled and smooth field roads. We passed by the burnt-out military vehicles on the way and heard explosions. There was no mobile connection along all the route. We reached the river crossing point, but the Russian military did not allow anyone to cross. A long queue of thousands of cars piled up and cars were arriving all the time. After hours of waiting, we couldn’t stand longer and returned home to Kherson.
On April 10, we tried again. On our way, we had to go through even more Russian checkpoints – Russian military would give us “educational” talks saying that “it was safer and better in Kherson and that it was better to go to Russia”; they would check our documents, register our personal data, inspect our personal possessions.
There was no queue at the river crossing this time, and in an hour we managed to cross the pontoon bridge. Loud explosions were heard all the way. Farther the road was shell-beaten, with destroyed Russian vehicles alongside, and there was no cell phone connection. We reached a Ukrainian checkpoint. The tension got down a bit. We were shown the direction and by the evening we reached Mykolaiv in the territory controlled by Ukraine. The following day we departed for Odessa.
Has it become easier? No! It is hard and painful to leave our home, our Kherson area, a part of our life. Heavy load in our hearts and soul does not let us go. There are many unknown challenges ahead. Anger and pain are my feelings. We are aspiring for Peace and punishment for those who organized the genocide of Ukrainian people.
Yana, Ukraine, April