LVIV (VG) Seven days after escaping, Katrina was able to bring her daughter to safety on Tuesday. Her husband stayed in the city that was bombed.
The port city of Mariupol is now besieged for 23 days, bombarded day and night, with human costs the full extent of which is still unknown.
For a long time, almost no civilians came out, and Only two international journalists reported from the city. In the past week, tens of thousands have managed to escape. On Tuesday, about 790 of them arrived in Lviv, western Ukraine, by train.
Among them is Katrina, who describes a seven-day escape.
– On one occasion we were with buses from the Red Cross, but we could not continue, it was constant shooting, she says.
Katrina describes how she first took refuge in her apartment. Then it was bombed. Then I went to some relatives’ apartment. Then that apartment was bombed, too.
Around March 15, she decided to elope with her daughter and several other family members.
They lived in the southwestern part of the city and tried to reach the nearest small town, Manchuh, about 20 kilometers to the west.
– We walked ten kilometers on foot. Then there were buses, she says.
At Manush, they spent the night sleeping in the church, before trying to move west to the port city of Berdyansk. There they spent three days before finally reaching the north and across the front to Zaporizhia.
– My father-in-law was almost killed in Berdyansk when we approached the soldiers, says Katharina.
The train that arrived in Lviv on Tuesday stopped in a small building of a low station north of the city – before the main train station, where the flow of refugees was sometimes huge.
From the blue carriages of the train, the refugees, looking tired, appeared on buses that took them west to Poland. Some will also be staying at a reception in Lviv until further notice. Volunteers distributed food and drink, while refugees packed what little they could carry on the bus.
Katrina is now traveling to Wroclaw, Poland.
The map below shows the escape routes from Mariupol. Katerina and her family traveled down and southwest to Berdyansk and then northwest to Zaporizhia:
– No less than 100,000 prisoners
She says her husband stayed in Mariupol. Ukraine has called up all healthy men between the ages of 18 and 60 for service, and they cannot leave their homeland unless they are granted an exception for health reasons.
Ukrainian forces are scheduled to open three so-called on Tuesday Human corridors to evacuate civilians from Mariupol.
The attempts were only partially successful. On Tuesday, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Irina Verychuk said that at least 100,000 civilians who wanted to leave were arrested in the city.
currents of war
The influx of refugees now from Mariupol brings with it new testimonies documenting the suffering of the civilian population.
Katrina, who VG spoke to on Tuesday, was tired and scared and didn’t talk in detail about what she’s been through.
But the BBC has met some children who came to Zaporizhia from Mariupol – with injuries that mean they are now in hospital there.
A six-year-old boy described with shrapnel in his skull – without tears or emotion – how he saw his mother being burned alive in their car after she was hit, as described by a doctor at the opposite hospital BBC.
The doctor describes the girl who lost her leg in shock so severe that she stopped eating for a long time and had to be fed intravenously.
The Southern Front is now approaching Zaporizhia. On the train that arrived in Lviv on Tuesday, there were refugees from several southern cities, including Bereznehuvate, near Mykolajiv.
The city still prevented the advance of the Russians towards Odessa in the southwest, the largest port city in Ukraine.
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