Anna Petrivna, 85, is a refugee from the village of Zarichne near Lyman (Donetsk region). On April 22, 2022, she fled with her son, her daughter Iryna and her family.
Anna tells her story:
When we fled, we could not take anything with us, except some documents and clothes. We had to leave everything behind; our chickens and pigs, our whole farm! My daughter, Iryna, had to leave her business. Her store and garage burned down. Only her apartment in Lyman is still intact. When she called her neighbour, it turned out that he is there alone with his family, guarding the 5-story apartment building from looters. They don’t let anyone in, because they are afraid to be robbed. My son abandoned everything too. He had a service station – he repaired cars, and all those cars were already stolen, he had nothing left. He ran away with us and his familly.
God forbid anyone has to experiences this
Running away was a nightmare. God forbid that anyone should experience that. Around us we saw tanks driving around and we heard constant shelling. On our way to Slavyansk (35km), we ran through empty fields, without a single car or person. Field after field. After we reached Slavyansk, we continued to run to Kramatorsk (another 50km). All this time I was thinking: “I’d do anything to get away from that shelling.”
When we arrived, we still had to keep moving from place to place
When we arrived in Kramatorsk, we moved from place to place because it is difficult to find a permanent place of residence. First, some people let us live in an old building in Bohuslav. Rats were running around all over the floor. Luckily, we could move to a second house, that we could rent. However, now the owners are selling the house, and we were told to move out by May 1st. We left earlier and found an apartment in Pavdograd. Now we are renting an apartment on the 3rd floor, but I am too afraid to walk up the stairs. I crawl on all fours to the 3rd floor. We live on my pension and benefits together with my daughter, son-in-law and grandson. My other son is still in Boguslav, and we are looking for a place for him now.
I feel a lot of grief about my son’s daughter and her son- my granddaughter and great-grandson. They stayed in Lyman and we cannot get contact with them at all. Yesterday I saw a boy so similar to my great-grandson, I had to cry, because I don’t know where they are and how they are doing. I have no connection with them and I miss my granddaughter very much. My greatest desire is to see my relatives who remained in the war zone and to know whether they are still alive.
Anna thanks for potatoes and flour
In this difficult time, we want to thank you for the help provided by the charity fund “Heritage for needs”. Right now everything is very expensive in shops, and for housing you have to pay a lot. It is very difficult to get work, and in order to survive, even children need to work at more than one job. My pension is meager, there is not enough food. We give thanks to the caring people who sent flour and potatoes. They helped us enormously.