Find out the story of Victoria! From successful real estate investor to refugee in Romania!
What city do you come from?
“My hometown is Kherson, a wonderful place that, unfortunately, is currently occupied by the Russian army.”
When did you leave Ukraine?
“I left the country on May 1, but I left my hometown on the first day of the war. It was quite difficult for me. The cities of Kherson and Nikolaiev are a key point for enemy armed forces. For this reason, I am very happy that I had the chance to escape on the first day of the war, since the first tanks appeared on the city streets. The shelling did not stop for a second, and my first instinct was to pack a small bag and go to my parents’ house between Kherson and Nikolaiev.”
What was the state of the war when you left the country?
“At the time, the situation was 50-50 for us. The southern part of the country suffered a lot from the attacks sustained by the Russian armed forces. On the other hand, many of the cities were not affected by this conflagration, especially those in the northern area. We know that Putin’s plan from the beginning was to occupy the southern area in order to have access to the Black Sea. Although many of the country’s major cities were spared from the attacks, people were scared and fled to the border with Poland.”
What was your life like before the war?
“I can say that I was the happiest woman in the world. I had a real estate business in Kherson. I was passionate about Real Estate, and in recent years I continued my ex-husband’s project. I was feeling very well before this war started. I had a quiet life and enjoyed every moment. I was excited because I got to buy a new car. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to enjoy it because it was destroyed in the bombings. Going through this, I know that God has a plan for everyone and that everything will be okay at some point.”
Tell us how you left your hometown and how you arrived in Romania?
“The first day of the war was very tense. The tanks of the Russian army occupied the city in 2-3 hours and it was impossible for us to leave the city. All the inhabitants were very frightened and we feared that something very bad would happen. The moment I realized what was happening, I spoke to my father on the phone and he told me to come to my parents’ house between Kherson and Nikolaiev. Right after the talk with my father I also talked with my sister and she told me that her husband was notified from work that important points of the city were destroyed. I had to leave very quickly, and in order to avoid the areas occupied by Russian tanks, I had to go to my parents’ house only on unpaved roads. For 60 days I stayed with my parents and lived with the vegetables they grew in their own yard. After exactly 60 days, the Russian army began to attack my parents’ village, at which point my car was destroyed by one of the Russians’ missiles. That day I was very scared, I went out into the street and saw the house of our neighbors turned into a ruin. We thought there would be no survivors after such an attack, but luck was on our neighbor’s side. 200m away from the house he was under his own roof torn off by the impact of the rocket. We welcomed him to our place and he told us that he is quite worried about his daughters in Nikolaiev. We decided to leave together, and in the car I was driving there were only people, no luggage. Our goal was to get as many people from the village as possible and leave as soon as possible. Only I managed to get 6 people in the car and we headed to Chilia. In that locality I received a home from a friend in Lithuania. My parents never traveled outside the country, and not having a passport was quite a problem for them. I decided to come to Romania myself, and in case I find a solution and accommodation, I will also invite them to stay together after they solve the document problem”
How were you greeted by the authorities when you arrived in the country?
“I left for Romania by bus from Odessa. It’s been quite a long road, though”