Today is the 50th day of February! The first bombardment of Kiev on the morning of the 24th of February set a new timeline for Ukrainians. It has been exactly 50 days since everything in the world changed for millions of people.
Mrs Ludmila lived in the Kiev region, more precisely in the small village of Kolonshchyna near Makarov. The war took her by surprise, just like everyone else. This year, Lent was not only to be a religious experience, voluntary mortification, but a reality that entered her everyday life and filled her with suffering. She began to experience her Way of the Cross just then, 50 days ago. When the power went out in the village, she knew she could not survive long without food, light and heat. She lasted 10 days. But that was not the end of the hardship.
“Finally, humanitarian aid reached our village. Then I learnt how much war can change and break human character,” says Mrs Ludmila with sadness in her voice.
Many residents deliberately did not report that help had arrived. They wanted more to be left for themselves. When too many people found out about the time and place where the aid would be distributed, there was always someone who spread the word that it was a trap, that Russian tanks were waiting around the corner and told them to run away. In the midst of such a commotion, Mrs Ludmila fell and tore a ligament. She knew that she was on her own.
“It was hell. You could sense tremendous fear and anxiety everywhere,” she recalls. When there was finally a chance to evacuate, false information about approaching enemy troops started circulating again. She set off. Endless stops, Zhytomyr, a few cold nights, fatigue and hunger. After a few days of exhausting travel, she reached Lviv, and from there she moved on to a small flat near the Polish border, where we met her.
Ludmila would very much like to erase these 50 days from her memory, but every hour has become so engraved in her that nothing can erase the experience.
We should not forget either. Today in particular, on the 50th day of the cruel war, we should show that we remember, that we are with them. Mrs Ludmila received help from us. A parcel with a supply of food and basic items. In addition, we would like to assure her that she is not alone with her tragic memories, that we do not forget and will never get accustomed to what this Lent was like for millions of Ukrainians.
Meet us today at 20:00 in front of the Ukrainian Embassy. Let us show that we are still here and that we remember!
P.S. According to press reports, Easter may not be peaceful and when we sit down to Easter breakfast, Mariupol and Donbas will be fighting a decisive battle. Let us not forget that this is still going on.