Valentyna Zakharchuk is a Ukrainian citizen who will provide daily on-the-ground updates of the Russian invasion for Benzinga.
I am Iryna, a resident of Kyiv. It so happened that shortly before the military events, my husband and I had the opportunity to relax abroad. We have a small 1-year-old child whom we left with our grandmother while we ourselves went to rest.
A Miracle At The Start Of The War: Nobody knew that the war would start. And when it started, on Feb. 24, when Russian troops started bombing Kyiv, we just had time to return and were together with our daughter. But it's a miracle! Do you know why? Because the duration of our trip was longer, and we decided to return early. And as it turned out, we did the right thing.
After all, I would not have survived this: my child was in the path of bombs. I believe it's not an accident that we returned to Ukraine early — God did it.
We spent several days in Kyiv, listening to the constant roar of alarm sirens, explosions and hearing and seeing people panicking. We are constantly following the news. It was unbearable to be there.
My husband helps other refugees from morning until night. Through helping people, he shows and tells how God continues to love us all.
“People have lost hope and I want to help such people, just like Christ once did on Earth,” says my husband Oleksii. And I went on with the child.
Iryna Flees To Germany With Baby Daughter: We decided to flee to Poltava, a city in northeast Ukraine. We drove very close to the burning military equipment. This was scary. I looked and did not believe my eyes.
We got on the train by a miracle. We sat waiting for long hours at the station, because no one knew when the train was supposed to arrive. It was very difficult to get into the train. Crowds of people were screaming and crying, and there were no seats for all the people.
This was followed by 20 hours by train, 2 hours by car to the border and 8 hours at the border at night during the terrible cold. My baby slept and didn't even cry. This is also a miracle. Anya will not remember these crowds of people with frightened eyes — all the horror that I will remember.
Separated From Her Husband By War: Now I am in Germany. Do you think it's easy for me now? My parents are in grave danger. My husband is in Ukraine; customs officers would not let him out at the border. Yes, I am not under military aircraft, but leaving my husband for an incomprehensible period of time is hard. It is not known what will happen to him. I hope it all ends soon.