To Defenders of Freedom

The family covered 1,000 kilometers on a scooter to leave occupied Kherson for western Ukraine

Kherson resident Victoria is the owner of a child development center, which she founded 4 years ago. When Russia invaded Ukraine, the woman with her husband and son had to leave their business and home. The family didn’t dare to evacuate until they heard the stories about the rape of local girls. The only possible transport was a scooter.

On their first try, the family got stuck in a traffic jam due to the hostilities. They decided to return, but snipers were operating in the yard of their high-rise building. Even the house was in danger: the occupiers could shoot at the windows if they saw someone there. So Victoria and her family told a few acquaintances about their route, in case they needed to be found, and headed for Ternopil. On the scooter, they covered a distance of 1000 kilometers in two days.

Victoria took with her a small backpack with letters from her late parents. Her mother and father met at an event for people with disabilities, but they were forbidden to be together. For two years, the lovers corresponded, which was also not easy: the father had been in a wheelchair since their meeting and had very weak muscles, which made writing difficult. When Victoria was seven, her mother also stopped walking. Now the greatest sorrow for the woman is not even the loss of her home and work, but the inability to visit her parents’ graves on Easter.

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