Italy – Victoria, from Kyiv to Turin, with hope for a new life

07 July 2022

(ANS - Turin) - Victoria is 32 years old and had always lived in Kyiv with her whole family until the first bombs of the war fell very close to her home and she had to leave her home. She used to work in a bank and was happy, but since the invasion began she has done nothing but run away, feeling as if the shadows of war haunted her, her loved ones ... and the baby she was expecting, finally born last May, when she was already in Italy. Now, with the Salesians in Turin, she hopes peace will come soon so she can return home, reunite with her husband and be with her whole family again.

Victoria recalls how Feb. 24 changed her life: "Around 4 a.m. we heard a series of deafening noises. We saw flames in the distance and my son Miroan was terrified. The next morning we rushed to downtown Kyiv to get some money, but it took us six hours to travel nine kilometers because of traffic jams and panic. We spent two nights in a basement, with very few belongings, and I decided to move to my in-laws' house in Zhytomyr. However, a few days later the shelling started there as well. I was very afraid for myself, my Miroan, and the baby on the way."

The young mother continued to flee. "We went to the countryside, to an isolated area. I thought we would be safe, at least for a few days, but the attacks started there too. I had the feeling that the war was chasing me...."

When some serenity seemed to have returned, this young mother went back to Kyiv, to be with her husband. From there she planned to travel to the western part of the country, to Lviv, because "the situation there was calmer and I thought I could temporarily rent a small apartment and deliver my son in a safer environment, in a city where hospitals functioned almost normally."

With Victoria, the Salesians took in the whole family: her parents, husband Maksym, Miroan, and even their cat. She hoped to find a home, "but the bombing started there too, so we decided to take a bus prepared by the Salesians in a hurry and leave the Country. At that point, the family got separated."

The bus had taken them to Slovakia, and Victoria and her son spent three days in a Salesian center, "It was wonderful to breathe peace again." From there they were transferred to Turin, in the heart of Don Bosco's Salesian life and dream. "Now we are well, my son is happy and I am calm. I gave birth in a well-equipped hospital and my parents are with me. I thank God every day because I feel Him close to me and my family," she assures.

Now every night "my husband and I talk on video call," Victoria continues, "The cat hears my voice and Miroan's voice and comes to the phone. This gives me a great sense of normalcy, but who knows when Maksym will be able to meet our baby, when he will be able to hug Miroan and me again? Hopefully, the war will end soon and we can go home quickly," Victoria concludes.

Dozens of mothers like Victoria, who managed to escape the war with their children, find themselves sheltered in Salesian works in various countries. Their strength, faith, and hope are a testimony to life as the war in Ukraine still continues. "Pray for Ukraine and don't forget us," continues to be the unanimous cry of the people displaced or refugees because of the war.



ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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