Ukraine is torn between resistance and exile

Marina, 38, and Vlada, 36, are clerks at a clothing and military equipment store in Ceilidin the province of Ukraine Donetskwithin an area Donbass. This is one of the converted shops to serve the city's main clientele: soldiers.

They both live with anxiety about Putin's forces taking over a cityadvaidka, They are only twenty kilometers away. They also suffer directly from bombings on their population, such as the bombing that destroyed a hospital, but they have made different decisions in the face of recent Russian advances.

The big dilemma

MarinaShe is the mother of the girl, She has already fled as a refugee to the European Union two years ago. He sent his daughter with relatives to the Czech Republic, while she continues to live under Russian attacks: schools, kindergartens, other public buildings… Everything has become a target. After resisting for two years, he is now once again preparing his exile:

“We will leave. We will leave the city. We have to save ourselves. Save our family and our children. Children have to live and we are not safe under the current situation. The children’s lives are the priority and so are our lives.”

Seledov shopping district, Ukraine (3Cat)

His companion Government He says he respects the decision to leave but confirms it you will stay. He remembers that the Donbass region has been at war since 2014, and considers the Russian invasion in 2022 to have been “basically the same,” with no major changes to his daily life.

He added: “I trust the armed forces, and I am less afraid than before. I don't know anything about others, but I no longer react to explosions.”

Unlike Marina, Vlada does not allow herself to be photographed.

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no Alexander38 years old, refuels the car at the gas station right in front of the houseThe hospital that was destroyed by shells. He travels in this car with his family: his wife and 8-year-old daughter.

Seldove Hospital was destroyed by Russian bombing (3Cat)

Alexander He is a miner and therefore exempt from joining the armyAs one of the essential occupations for the maintenance of the Ukrainian economy, coal in Donbas is essential.

Dio ma eIn 2014, he did not think about leavingbut he was younger. It's different now. Now there's family.

Years of mass displacement

The flight of Ukrainian citizens from their places of origin has been ongoing since the beginning of the armed conflict with Russia.

According to theUnited Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) With data from February itself, there are currently More than 6 million Ukrainian refugees In other European countries. In addition, we must add another half a million citizens who have left further outside the continent.

There are also domestic flights: More than 5 million people were forced to move to other regions of Ukraine.

All this in a country with a population of approximately 44 million people, where, according to this United Nations organization, More than 17 million people are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance. It represents approximately 40% of the population.

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