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  • Writer's pictureJRS Romania

Russian occupying forces have destroyed our house

Even though many Ukrainian refugees would like to return home tomorrow if the war ends, this is not possible for many. The Russian occupying forces have destroyed many of their apartments and houses. This is the account of a senior Ukrainian family living in Romania now.

"We chose to come to Romania because our son and his family are here. We are from Mariupol, and we postponed our departure as much as we could, but in the end, we had to leave. We were afraid for our lives. Once we arrived in Romania, we lived for a while with our son's family. Unfortunately, it was very difficult. There were many people in a small space, so we had to move. After about a month, we started to adapt. We started to know where the shops are, which NGOs can provide support, how we can walk to the park, and how we can reach our son more easily. What is different in Romania? The war...nothing else can be said... The pluses for us are: there are no bombings, there are no sirens, and we are not afraid to walk on the streets. Bucharest is cleaner than Mariupol. We were surprised to see that here drivers actually stop at pedestrian crossings, and let them cross. The biggest difficulty for us is language. We struggle with communication.

In Romania, living is much more expensive, which can be seen when we convert from lei to hryvnia. We are trying to adapt in this regard as well.

We receive pensions from Ukraine and financial assistance from JRS, and we try to make ends meet. We live in a studio apartment. It's suitable for us, it's on the ground floor, so we don't have to climb up the stairs, and the conditions are very comfortable.

The apartment offers us a feeling of calm and safety, but not one of "home". We are waiting for the war to end and to go home, although our apartment no longer exists.

However, we know that our city will be rebuilt and we will return. It's okay in Romania, we know where we left from and how serious the situation was, we appreciate the calm, the peace, and the safety, but it's not the right place for us, we are seniors... we are 80 years old and 73 years old... we want to return home where we belong, we miss the sea… Until then, we try to enjoy our walks in the park and the time we spend with our niece. We are happy to have our family with us. Thank you very much for all your support! We really appreciate it!"

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