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The air of war

Kateryna lived in Ukraine until February 2022. She is a witness of the brutal war of

aggression on her homeland.

People say, a shell never lands in the same spot - just as a lightning.

However, this spelling is not about me.

My name is Kateryna and I want to tell you the story of my escape from the war.

Railway station.   Place where you start your journeys, meet your relatives and friends, give flowers to your beloved one.

My feelings about it are completely opposite.

Since 2014 railway station has been a place of tears and separation for me.

I remember sitting in the carriage of the last Donetsk-Kyiv train in 2014 at the age of 10 and not understanding why I have to flee my city. It had been unbelievably difficult for the first few weeks, but after them I became accustomed to Kyiv and started to fell joy and happiness forgetting the

sounds of explosions and horrors of war. I was just a little girl and didn`t understood what was happening.

That is why the move to Kyiv was not that challenging and I quite easily got over it.

Life has been beautiful till 24th of February.

Waking up from the sounds of explosions, I felt the air of that war.

Explosions, rockets, shells, screams, never-ending news, jets above my home – all a blur. I remember

only one thought in my head:

“I happened to be in the horror again”

7 long nights were spent on the cold concrete in a bomb shelter. I couldn`t stand it anymore. All my friends and relatives were gone, my parents and I were the only to remain. And this is scary.

When my parents finally decided to flee Kyiv, I was in seventh heaven. However, I was not aware of the things waiting for me.

Driving to the unknown destination is terrifying. I had no clue whether we were to meet Russian tanks along the way, to be hit by shelling, or to get to our safe place.

At that moment I was feeling like a small ant unable to stand against the big cruel world.

Our way was very frustrating and lasted for 3 days. My parents and I stayed overnight at the home of kind strangers (I am extremely grateful to them) and I saw fresh bread for the first time since the beginning of war.

After 3 days, on the 5th of March we finally reached Lviv (City next to polish border). It was relatively peaceful there.

We stayed at our friend`s home, and everything seemed to become better. Nevertheless, my head was crowded with the thoughts about home.

Time was passing very slowly. I was checking news every 5 minutes hoping to see that everything is over.

Unfortunately, situation was getting only worse. My father Ivan decided that my mother Oksana and I should go abroad, because danger was getting closer. I was shocked.

I couldn`t ever imagine me being forced to leave my country because of war.

The choice fell on Germany. Why? I don`t know, my parents told me that. It was and still is difficult for me to accept the fact that I have been living in other country, speaking other languages with other people for more than 10 months already.

Arriving in Germany I was just a child. Now I am 18 years old and feeling much older due to changes and experiences the war brought into my life.

However, my thoughts keep being childishly real. I am still waiting and asking myself as well as I was asking myself having come from Donetsk to Kyiv:

“Is it only for 2 weeks just as my parents say

and we will be home soon?

or is it forever….?”

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