Some Ukrainians leave behind family members

At Lviv station, in the westernmost corner of Ukraine, near the Polish border, hundreds of people get off the trains, disembarking to the sound of sirens. The terminal, one of Europe’s most historic Art Nouveau structures, is now a waypoint for those displaced by war, trying to put hundreds of miles between them and an invading Russia, while getting closer to the NATO front line. That the historic cultural center could become a target for Moscow was unthinkable to many – including diplomats and international organizations who have fled from Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, to Lviv in recent weeks. But when the sirens went off, it was a chilling reminder that nowhere in Ukraine is safe from Moscow’s full-blown assault on the country. There was a distant look on people’s faces. Most moved nonchalantly through the courtyard outside the station, even as the sirens sounded. A family piled blankets over their baby in a stroller. Two women dressed a shivering French bulldog in a knitted pink sweater. Several other families sat together, barricaded by large suitcases and plastic bags. They said they had not slept for days because of the bombardments that ravaged the areas they had left. violence, many say they don’t know where to go next. This is an issue that has been complicated by a new Ukrainian martial law that has been put in place. Among other restrictions, it prohibits men between the ages of 18 and 60 from leaving the country. Families contemplating crossing the Ukrainian border face not only the trauma of becoming refugees, but also the prospect of separation from their sons, brothers, husbands and partners. Artem Zonenko has just arrived in Lviv from Kiev with her mother-in-law and her granddaughter. They spent last night sleeping on the floor of a metro station, safe from the shelling and shelling of the Ukrainian capital. His wife had been in Lviv for a few days. The family plans to spend a day together before deciding whether grandmother, mother and child will continue to Poland, leaving Zonenko behind. When asked what he thought, he smiled in despair. “I’m not sure what to tell you. It is what it is,” he said as he ushered his family into a cab. . State media and an eyewitness said more than 7,000 cars lined up at Polish border crossings, with the line stretching more than 30 kilometers. Andrei, 45, stared into the distance as he took a long drag from his cigarette. He had just arrived from his hometown of Odessa in the southeast and was concocting a plan to meet his Belarusian wife in Poland. “She’s pregnant. I have to go see her,” he said, refusing to divulge his full name for security reasons. “This law makes no sense.” The government announced the general mobilization order – which included a travel ban for the men – while he was on the train. It’s a curve that could change his family’s future, he said. “And then I got off the train and the sirens went off,” he said. “I was shocked because we weren’t even told where to take shelter. I was shocked because this place is supposed to be safe.” “And now we’re told we can’t even leave the country, whereas migrants can,” he gestured to a group of strangers nearby. “I’m asking you, is that fair?” migrants arriving in Lviv, their destination is certain – Poland, or any neighboring state that will take them in. “I don’t know where to take shelter because no place is safe,” says Mehmet, a Turkish resident in Ukraine , dragging two large suitcases down the sidewalk as sirens sounded. “We’re just going to get out of the country. A group of Algerian university students from Odessa were frantically discussing their plans. “We’ll just go to Poland,” said Takieddine, who asked not to be named in full for security reasons: “There is no way we are staying in Ukraine.” “We never thought this would happen in Europe. Never never. Not in a million years.” Ihor Nakonechyi, 52, is in the border town of Mostyska preparing the shuttle – wife and daughter to Poland. He plans to drop them off at the nearby crossing and then half- turn, not only because the law forbids him to leave the country, he says, but because he “can’t wait to grab a gun” and join the fight against the Russian forces. “It’s hard …but I’m not hindered by the law. In fact, I think it’s the right thing to do.”

At Lviv station, in the westernmost corner of Ukraine near the Polish border, hundreds of people get off the trains and disembark to the sound of sirens.

The terminal, one of Europe’s most historic Art Nouveau structures, is now a landmark for those displaced by war, trying to put hundreds of miles between them and an invading Russia, while drawing closer from the NATO front line.

That the historic cultural center could become a target for Moscow was unthinkable for many – including diplomats and international organizations who fled the Ukrainian capital, Kiev, in Lviv in recent weeks.

But when the sirens went off, it was a chilling reminder that nowhere in Ukraine is safe from Moscow’s full-blown assault on the country.

There was a distant look on people’s faces. Most moved nonchalantly through the courtyard outside the station, even as the sirens sounded.

A family piled blankets over their baby in a stroller. Two women dressed a shivering French bulldog in a knitted pink sweater. Several other families sat together, barricaded by large suitcases and plastic bags. They said they had not slept for days because of the bombardments that ravaged the areas they left.

They had traveled to Lviv from cities and towns across the country, quickly packing backpacks and gathering a few belongings before fleeing their homes.

Still reeling from the violence, many say they don’t know where to go next. This is an issue that has been complicated by a new Ukrainian martial law that has been put in place. Among other restrictions, it prohibits men between the ages of 18 and 60 from leaving the country.

Families contemplating crossing the Ukrainian border face not only the trauma of becoming refugees, but also the prospect of separation from their sons, brothers, husbands and partners.

Artem Zonenko has just arrived in Lviv from Kiev with his mother-in-law and granddaughter. They spent last night sleeping on the floor of a metro station, safe from the shelling and shelling of the Ukrainian capital. His wife had been in Lviv for a few days. The family plans to spend a day together before deciding whether grandmother, mother and child will continue to Poland, leaving Zonenko behind.

When asked what he thought, he smiled helplessly. “I don’t know what to tell you. It is what it is,” he said as he ushered his family into a cab.

UNHCR said at least 100,000 people left their homes in the first 24 hours of the military assault on Thursday. State media and an eyewitness said more than 7,000 cars lined up at Polish border crossings, with the line stretching more than 30 kilometers.

Andrei, 45, stared into the distance as he took a long drag from his cigarette. He had just arrived from his hometown of Odessa in the southeast and was concocting a plan to meet his Belarusian wife in Poland. “She’s pregnant. I have to go see her,” he said, refusing to divulge his full name for security reasons. “This law makes no sense.

The government announced the general mobilization order – which included a travel ban for the men – while he was on the train. It’s a curve that could change his family’s future, he said. “So what [we] got off the train and the sirens went off,” he said. “I was shocked because we weren’t even told where to take shelter. I was shocked because this place is supposed to be safe.”

“And now we’re being told we can’t even leave the country, while migrants can,” he waved to a group of strangers nearby. “I ask you, is that right?”

For migrants arriving in Lviv, their destination is certain: Poland or any neighboring state that will welcome them.

“I don’t know where to take shelter because there is no security anywhere,” said Mehmet, a Turk residing in Ukraine, dragging two large suitcases down the sidewalk as the sirens sounded. “We’re just going out of the country.”

A group of Algerian university students from Odessa were frantically discussing their plans. “We’ll just go to Poland,” said Takieddine, who asked not to be named in full for security reasons. “There is no question that we stay in Ukraine.”

“We never thought this would happen in Europe. Ever. Not in a million years.”

Ihor Nakonechyi, 52, is in the border town of Mostyska, preparing to transport his ex-wife and daughter to Poland. He plans to drop them off at the nearby railroad crossing and then turn back, not just because the law prohibits him from leaving the country, he says, but because he “can’t wait to get a gun” and to join the fight against the Russians. forces.

“It’s hard…but I’m not hindered by the law. In fact, I think it’s the right thing to do.”

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