September 28, 2022

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Escape by taxi from Kiev

Escape by taxi from Kiev

Eric Frendsen, 29, moved to Kiev at the end of December last year and rented a house in the Ukrainian capital.

From Thursday night to Thursday this week, he woke up to reports of a Russian attack and “he must leave”.

– I left Kiev on Thursday morning. It was just confusing, Frantzen tells Dagbladet.

– The streets were crowded, there were queues for miles in shops and ATMs, he continues.

Picked up the cart

He first went to the Norwegian embassy, ​​but was told it had been moved to Liv. When he arrived at the train station, he was told that no train had left the city until the evening.

– I was praised for a taxi, says the 29-year-old.

In it he sat for the next 14 hours and described what went on the road as surreal.

– This is very special. In endless rows, people of all ages walked with packed bags.

Confusion: At 14 o’clock, Eric Frendson was sitting in a taxi that drove him safely out of the Ukrainian capital. Photo: Reuters / NDP
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– I gave up a little

It usually takes 7-8 hours to drive to Lviv which was the destination of the trip.

– I got there at 01pm and gave my money to the taxi driver. He left his wife and children to drive me out of town, says Frendson.

He says he booked a hotel room in town but was not booked at the hotel and was packed when he got there. He tried to withdraw money, but all the ATMs were empty.

– Then I went to the train station and thought I could book a train to Poland, but was told that tickets were not available there.

– Then I left a bit, says Franzen.

Poland: The UN says Poland has the potential to receive about 4 million refugees from Ukraine. Video: Kristian Ridder-Nielsen, Reporter: Torgeir Krokfjord
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Stop at the border

He did not eat, did not sleep, and floated a little in the station.

– The alarm of the plane rang at 04 or 05, but he says I did not hear any explosion.

At the train station he contacted a Swedish-Ukrainian man who suggested he take the train to a town near the Slovakian border, and after lengthy consultation, they were able to board the train together.

The next stage was a bus from Ushorod in Ukraine to Kosciuszko in Slovakia.

But said stop at the border.

– We waited there from 19pm on Friday night until 14pm on Saturday, says Frendson.

– At the border it was a total “shit show”. There were women with small children who had to say goodbye to their husbands who were not allowed to leave the country. It was cold and they stood there for hours and froze with their children and some of their belongings, he continues.

Cold: Frendsen sat on a bus for almost a day on the border between Ukraine and Slovakia, on the Wisnie Nemke.  He says the mothers and children were frozen in the cold outside.  Photo: etPeter Lazar / AFP / NTB

Cold: Frendsen sat on a bus for almost a day on the border between Ukraine and Slovakia, on the Wisnie Nemke. He says the mothers and children were frozen in the cold outside. Photo: etPeter Lazar / AFP / NTB
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Returns

Yesterday, Frendson finally crossed the border into Slovakia, where he booked a hotel room, ate, slept and bathed.

Now he was ready to go back.

– I booked a rental car and headed back to the border for help, he says.

He says he really wants to re-enter Ukraine and help people cross the border, but has now assured his parents not to re-enter the country.

– So, I want to help at the border. I should at least try to do something, he says.

Run the Run: Frendson describes scenes that break the hearts of women and children who have to say goodbye to their men at the border.  Photo: Peter Lazar / AFP / NDP

Run the Run: Frendson describes scenes that break the hearts of women and children who have to say goodbye to their men at the border. Photo: Peter Lazar / AFP / NDP
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– It is very tricky to see all the women and children left inside themselves on the border in the cold. I want them to go to a safe place, ”he explains.

– Something needs to be done

He says he fills the car with the water and food he wants to give to those who stand there now, and has been standing there for hours, maybe several days.

– I can always book a flight to Norway, but now people coming out of Ukraine, leaving their homes, do not know what the future will bring.

The 29-year-old still does not know exactly how he can contribute as a volunteer.

Filling the car: Frendson has already filled his rental car and is returning to help refugees at the border.  Photo: Private

Filling up the car: Frendson has already filled up his rental car and is returning to help refugees at the border. Photo: Private
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– I want to talk to people on the border and find out how I can help, he says.

– I will encourage too And meat, As many people as possible should contribute. My message is, help is needed, something needs to be done, he says.

The UN says the number of refugees in the fighting in Ukraine has exceeded 368,000. New figures from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

– The new total is 368,000, and the number continues to rise, according to a UNHCR report on Twitter on Sunday.

They say the new statistic is based on data available from various national authorities.

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