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Ukraine5 min read


Tatyana’s life in Ukraine — almost one year after the invasion

Megan Stoia
Feb 20, 2023


The birth of a baby is something to be celebrated.

We have gender reveal parties and baby showers. Families and friends are drawn together in anticipation. It’s a time filled with love and excitement for what’s to come — but when Tatyana and her husband found out they were expecting, they were nervous.

The couple already had two boys and were struggling to get by. They weren’t sure how they would make ends meet … but little did they know that come February 2022, that would be the least of their concerns.

Now, Tatyana, her husband, and their three children are refugees who need your help.

This family is waiting for someone like you to give them help and hope
Countless families in Ukraine are waiting for someone like YOU to give them help and hope

On Feb. 23, 2022, Tatyana’s husband left their home in Kharkiv, Ukraine, for a business trip. Then the next day, the unthinkable happened. Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

As bombs dropped from the sky and gunfire rang through the streets, Tatyana took her two sons and ran for shelter. They hide in a bunker for two weeks, unsure what to do next.

When they heard that a train station had re-opened, she took the children to Sloviansk to meet up with her husband. The family was finally reunited … but it didn’t last.

The constant stress and fear from the shellings caused Tatyana to go into labor two months early. When her baby girl arrived, she was struggling to breathe.

Ukrainian soldiers rushed Tatyana and her newborn daughter to a hospital in Dnipro. Her husband and sons stayed behind in Sloviansk.

Once they arrived at the hospital, Tatyana’s daughter was immediately put on a respirator. As the baby slowly recovered, Tatyana’s husband and children lived in the thick of battle over 150 miles away.

The children watched as the city crumbled around them, reduced to rubble from daily attacks.

Ukrainian refugees head to neighboring countries
Ukrainians are packing onto trains hoping to find safety in neighboring countries

“They saw from the window how a rocket exploded in the bazaar, how the bus station was burning,” Tatyana’s husband said.

Then, one afternoon, Russian jets dropped a phosphorus bomb — injuring Tatyana’s sons.

They had deep wounds on their arms and legs where the substance from the bomb had touched them. It would take months for them to recover, and it left permanent scars on their bodies.

Tatyana’s heart was torn between wanting to be with her husband and sons in Sloviansk and staying with her baby in the hospital. The wait was agonizing. After her daughter was finally discharged from the hospital, she rushed back to Sloviansk to be with the rest of her family.

Knowing they needed to do something before it was too late, the family packed up what few belongings they still had and went to Lviv.

They moved into a dormitory with several other families, where they now plan to wait out the rest of the war.

Ukrainians wait for the war to end
After a year of uncertainty, Ukrainians are desperate to return home

This is what the past year has been like for many Ukrainian refugees like Tatyana and her family, whether they stayed in Ukraine or chose to flee to a neighboring country.

In the past 12 months, refugees have watched their hometowns fall apart overnight due to constant attacks. They’ve seen friends and family suffer needlessly. They’ve been separated from loved ones and forced to try and find some sense of normalcy in the midst of war.

Can you imagine raising a family during a war?

To top it off, they’re learning to handle the trauma they’ve experienced. It’s a battle they will be fighting for the rest of their lives. And right now, essentials like food, warm clothing, safe shelter, and trauma counseling are still in short supply.

That’s why — even a year later — Ukrainian refugees still desperately need your help.

With the war’s first anniversary only a few days away, refugees like Tatyana are counting on people like YOU for help and hope.

Will you be a lifeline for them during their time of greatest need and continue to stand with Ukraine this year?

For just $35, you can provide a week’s worth of emergency food, clean water, and other lifesaving aid for one displaced person in Ukraine or another high-conflict area.

Please, don’t let time and distance make you desensitized to Ukrainian refugees’ needs. Give your best gift today to help save a life.


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