Story of Liudmyla Yurchenko, HR assistant at HRForecast
February 24, 2022 – this date divided our life into before and after. This night will remain in my memory forever and for more than 40 million people.
I remember how, as a child, I once cried over the words of the song, “On June 22 at exactly 4 o’clock Kyiv was bombed, they announced to us that the war had begun.” But I never could have thought that this horror could happen again and that my children and I would find it.
February 24 at 5 am, I woke up from a strange sound and screaming alarms. My heart skipped a beat. The alarms were turned off; it seemed quiet. They went on to sleep. And then there is the strange sound. I opened the phone and understood that the whole city had heard this strange, terrible sound. Then messages began to come that this sound is not only in our city — almost all over Ukraine.
The war… the war started… sounded in my head.
“I want to return to my, if not ideal, but peaceful and prosperous country. I want children to walk the streets to safely go to school and kindergarten.”
Photos of Liudmila’s happy children when volunteers brought them sweets and toys
5 minutes to think, under continued explosions. My husband and I decided to leave. At first, we thought of going to the center of Ukraine to visit relatives. But then they realized that everywhere and there too.
With tears in our eyes, we began to pack our bags. An alarming backpack with documents, money and minimum food and water supply had been folded for a week.
It was hard to think, to gather myself together. Explosions continued.
I called all my relatives, my mother. I woke up the children, dressed them, and said we were leaving for a vacation.
The son began to cry, “but what about the school? I can’t skip it (grade 1)!” An hour after the first explosions, we were already sitting in the car.
Kilometer-long queues for ATMs, restrictions on cash withdrawals. The queue to the store an hour before it opens. You can’t drive near gas stations; everyone wants to refuel.
There were no tears; there was a lump in my throat. There was silence in the car. They could not discuss anything; some children did not know what had happened in the car.
A book presented to Liudmila’s son from another child. The inscription on it, “With love from Lea. Health and quiet life. Peace. February 2022 (Moldova).”
Florian’s message in the working group with words of support and a desire to help everyone who needs it helped cope with feelings. And from the moment when, probably, the main tension subsided, my tears have not stopped for 5 days.
By evening we reached Chisinau. Friends were waiting there. These are people who will always be grateful that they once provided a helping hand for being ready to help everyone and receive everyone.
There were already 4 families in the two-room apartment they rented by the time we arrived. The kitchen didn’t even fit. The guys cheered and found an increase in mood.
The children were playing. Parents finally found universal ascension. Then there was still hope that it would all end soon. We still hoped that in a week, we would return home.
The second time I took pride in our company and our employees was when Florian personally started calling all Ukrainian employees. They are not indifferent to our fate; they are watching us.
The next day, we rented an apartment, but again only thanks to the staff Florian and Christian. Thanks to them for helping us to have a comfortable stay in a foreign country at such a convenient time. It would have been very difficult for us without their help.
We moved. And then something happened that I couldn’t even imagine. How friendly, open, and good-natured people are here. Drivers from cars passing by ask if everything is fine or somewhere to live.
Ukraine’s neighbors at home discovered leather and began to bring food and clothes to us.
Dear citizens of Moldova, including those who meet at a difficult moment and do not come to our land with necessity.
And now everything seems to be safe, we are together, and we are alive. The story doesn’t end there.
Last night, I distinctly heard explosions in the distance.
I understand that I cannot hear them so far away; probably, my imagination draws these terrible sounds for me.
When we had already driven across Moldova, in a field in the distance, instead of a bush, I saw a tank. It’s terrifying. I do not know when it will be forgotten and whether it will be forgotten. And I thank God that my children did not hear this. But, of course, our psychological state has changed a lot to the state of our children. They have become very annoying and often cry.
I want to return to my, if not ideal, but peaceful and prosperous country. I want children to walk the streets to safely go to school and kindergarten.
I don’t want to worry about my life constantly. Every evening I ask God that this horror be spread, that people stop dying, that all my relatives and friends remain alive and healthy.
Slava Ukraini! Glory to Ukraine!