The employees are trying their best, but something is wrong with the organization. I hope Norway has something nice to show me. When we came here by bus, I saw that the nature was very beautiful. I hope.
When Dagbladet meets Ukraine’s Anastasia Berdian and her two-year-old daughter Diana Krasnovid at the National Access Center in Råde on Saturday, March 5, they have been in Norway for two days. It was a difficult meeting.
– Now I’m fine, but yesterday I was shocked and humiliated. Anyway, it’s better than staying in Kherson, Ukraine, says Anastasia as we sit in a McDonald’s outside the reception center wall.
Her hometown of Kherson fell earlier this week, Wednesday, March 2. Then the mayor announced that Russian forces had taken control of the city. Thus they were the first important Ukrainian city to fall.
On Sunday, March 6, the United Nations announced that 1.5 million people have now fled Ukraine. In the National Access Center in Råde in Viken, there are now approx. 700 asylum seekers. Most of them are refugees from Ukraine.
– I’ll tell you the story, she says.
And what it says is this:
It was about 17-18 pm on Thursday when I got to the center. Then there were many hours of waiting. First in a room with about 50 other people, then in another room, where they were waiting for registration.
We didn’t know how long it would take before we rest, we knew nothing. We just sat and waited for the seats and chairs.
The first part of the recording was a covid test. Then Anastasia had to hand over all her belongings. Everything should have been taken out and reviewed.
For me, this was shocking. I didn’t know they would, and if I had known, I would have been ready, says Anastasia.
In the next room they had to wait in a long line for a change. Then they were displayed in small booths, says Anastasia. They had to deliver their clothes in a plastic bag. Then they got new clothes.
The problem was that Anastasia was menstruating. She delivered all the toiletries, not received any new ones. It took five hours before she got any bandages.
– It was so tough. Very uncomfortable and humiliating. I couldn’t shower either, says Anastasia.
Only at 06 am on Friday morning, Anastasia and her two-year-old daughter completely finished recording. It should have taken about 12 hours.
– Finally we managed to sleep.
Within three days she will return her cases.
Dagbladet made the criticism that emerged for UDI, which is responsible for running the access center in Råde.
– We do our best
This is a difficult situation, Ingeborg Grimsmo, UDI’s director of communications, told Dagbladet.
“We do our best, but it’s clearly a challenge when there are many bus loads at the same time,” she says.
The buses that arrive now are often the result of private initiatives. Then the arrival center is only notified by the police when they cross the border. It takes about half an hour by car to drive from Svinesund to Råde. It can be a bit of a short time, Grimsmo says.
We have enough mattresses and toiletries, but we don’t have time to prepare as we would like, says Grimmsmo.
The routine is that all baggage and personal belongings must be frozen. This is for hygiene and infection control reasons.
– A package of clothes and hygiene items is then allocated to everyone. We have people out there to take care of the refugees and we work with the Red Cross, the Civil Defense and NOAS,” Grimsmo says.
UDI wrote in a press release on Sunday, March 6 that the National Access Center has the capacity to receive more refugees.
“But because there are too many people coming in at short notice, we are also temporarily using Scandic Hellsphere. The hotel is part of the emergency services of the Oslo municipality, and has a capacity of 1,000 places,” they wrote.
Bombing the neighboring block
– Today I had a good meal. Anastasia says she is better today.
She has been traveling for a long time. On February 22, her husband said: “We have to leave, and now terrible things can happen. If it turns out to be nothing, we can go home again ».
They took the train from their hometown of Kherson in the far south of Ukraine, on the Black Sea, to Lviv. From there, the journey continued for her and her daughter by bus to Krakow, Poland. Then they boarded the plane to Norway. The guy stayed in Ukraine.
If she comes home again, she doesn’t even try to think. The building next to where she and her family lived was bombed.
– We wish we could go home, but for what, we don’t know. The place we stayed in is no longer there. It will be another city.
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