Russia launched an invasion of Ukraine on February 24. Almost seven weeks have passed since the beginning of the war. Halyna Sička, who raised children in Melitopol, where she worked as a seamstress, remembers the start of the war very well. The first shot was reportedly fired around five or six in the morning. “The windows shook violently. It was so loud that when I opened the pantry to prepare food for the children, it threw me. I thought, I thought: no, it can’t not be a war.” she described, gradually realizing that her country was at war.
“They started texting your kids won’t go to school, stay home today. We were hoping it would end soon. People started panicking, started withdrawing money. money at ATMs. Queues began to form at pharmacies,” she said, with planes flying over the city. It is said that she passed through her hometown to bombard other cities. But the stores stayed open at first, and people hoped to buy and everything would be fine again and the war would end soon.
However, the situation worsened. “When I went out on the 27th to look for food, I just couldn’t get any because everything was closed. I went down to the market. I saw a car there after the explosion. Then I I found out what kind of car it was. It was my client’s car. I’m a seamstress, she brought me some things. She was about to give birth. It was her son’s blown up car. husband. On the 25th, he went to the maternity ward. He was hit four times.” fortunately, he survived. Long queues for drugs began to form, and drugs as important as heart or blood pressure began to decline until they were no longer available. People ran out of money and banks were closed. They could only choose 5,000. The daily struggle for food also began. “You get up at five or six in the morning and start driving around town. You look for places to distribute food to survive. Nobody knew how to leave.” she said she was lucky in the end and escaped with the children.
In winter, they go on a journey into the unknown. “The road from Melitopol to Zaporozhye: we drove through the fields, it was cold, it was scary, I heard an explosion. We drove around min. It was terrible. A driver, named Anton, drove the whole column from Mariupol, from Melitopol, he was not afraid. He disembarked people and risked his life to go around the mines himself”, she said that by train they reached the border, then Poland, then the Czech Republic. It is said that the volunteers helped them a lot at the border. In the Czech Republic, she met her husband and the father of her children. “It was our longest and most difficult meeting. We couldn’t believe it had happened, that we had been through this.” describes the meeting.
The behavior of the occupiers in the country is absolutely appalling. “They behaved rudely, as if everything belonged to them,” describes Halyna. When people begged to leave, the Russians only replied, “As long as we get paid, we’ll be here.”
“They come to search everything. They say they are looking for weapons, but in reality they are not. They are looking for something to steal,” Halyna recounts, noting that she saw Russian soldiers firing a gun. wash in the tank!” When they discovered Nutella in looted homes, they saw it as the height of luxury.
Do you host refugees at home or otherwise help Ukrainians in the Czech Republic?
Blesk launched the ProUkrainu website, where they can find practical advice and news in Ukrainian, written by people who have already gone through the same process.
VIDEO: Halyna Sička fled Melitopol to the Czech Republic with her children.
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