Tatiana Kovalova recalls the treacherous way to stop the train in Kiev. He was dragged under the bridge when shots rang out and bombs flew overhead.
SACRAMENT, Calif. – More than a week has passed since Tatiana Kovalova landed safely in Sacramento and hugged daughter Oksana Hill after fleeing the war Ukraine.
“It was a great relief to have her here because she’s safe, but it hurts to watch what’s going on,” Hill said.
After reunion in Sacramento, they returned to Hill’s home in Resque, California.
It was difficult for Kovaleva to cross the border and fly to the United States. Kavalava lived in Kharkiv, where she ran a small business selling cookies and sweets. Kharkiv was one of the first cities affected by the Russian invasion, and Kavalava initially said she denied the seriousness of the attack.
“We never thought our neighbor would attack us. Until the last moment, we didn’t believe it,” Kavalova said.
Hill watched as the situation unfolded almost halfway around the world, and could barely sleep or eat. She urged her mother to flee the country before the situation escalated further, and in the end she did, just in time.
“While I was preparing to leave, I left while they were bombing and shelling the city,” Kavalova said.
Kovalova was able to hide in the basement of the apartment where she spent the night. The next day she boarded an evacuation train and fled Kharkiv. She grabbed only a few items and left a life she knew.
“There were a lot of people in the carriages. Everyone helped, everyone shared food and water, ”Kavalova said.
In a treacherous way the train made a stop in Kiev. He was dragged under the bridge when shots rang out and bombs flew overhead.
“At one point in Kiev there was no electricity, so we had to stop and stay,” – said Kovalova.
Uzhgorod near the Slovak border took many additional stops and more than 24 hours in total. Kavalova said the trip was so treacherous that she was unsure whether she would survive.
on the topic: How to help the people of Ukraine
Kavalova said that while waiting for the woman died in one of the buses from a heart attack.
“Many men from Eastern Ukraine take their wives, children and families to Western Ukraine because they return from time to time and are going to fight the Russians.”
Kavalova described the resilience of children as they crossed the border with their mothers.
“Some women had two or three children. It seemed that the children understood that you can’t cry, you shouldn’t be hysterical, you should sit and follow what their mother tells them and be stoic, ”Kavalova said.
Although relieved that she is safe and reunited with her daughter, Kavalau’s son, his sister and two brothers remain in Kharkiv with their families. They refuse to leave and hide in place.
Every morning Kovalova calls for registration, and if they do not pick up the phone, she prays that they will stay alive.
“We are not ready to lose our relatives, parents, children because of the ambitions of one person,” said Kovalova.
Kavalava said Russian President Vladimir Putin was causing grief, death and pain to many innocent Ukrainians. She said she wanted the world to take action and fight Ukraine.
“So many lives have been turned upside down. So many lives have been destroyed,” Kovalova said. “We still hope that we will be able to rebuild Ukraine and rebuild our cities to make them more beautiful and better, and that our children will have a future in Ukraine.”