War in Ukraine: Mothers and children who may be safe now, but don’t know what the future holds | world news

In the darkness they waited patiently – hundreds of them – for the bus doors to open. Mothers and their children, cold and desperate.

They had traveled for days to get here, crossing the Polish border, leaving hell behind.

“We had to leave our mother behind,” Anastasia tells me. She traveled with her sister, Yana, from the eastern city of Dnipro, which was hit by Russian shells last week.

They are in a queue of what must be 500 other broken and frightened women and children.

A little boy – a toddler – tries to help his exhausted mother by tearing himself away with a suitcase twice his weight. She has two more bags and a blanket to contend with.

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Picture:
Ukrainians waiting to be removed from the border

Sitting on a sidewalk, a mother wraps a blanket around her baby and tries to get him to take formula.

More than a million Ukrainians had to run for their lives crossing Poland.

In total, it is estimated that two million people have fled Ukraine to seek safety from the bombs and bombings and bloodshed.

Read more: First Lady Olena Zelenska condemns ‘mass murder of Ukrainian civilians’

“I couldn’t stay in Ukraine. it’s too dangerous’

Nathalia, 22, made the trip alone, leaving her family behind. She hopes to go to Italy, then perhaps to Canada, where she has family.

“I won’t give up. But I couldn’t stay in Ukraine. It’s too dangerous. My family stayed behind,” she says.

Many have no idea where they will end up
Picture:
Many have no idea where they will end up

But for many, it’s a perilous journey with no destination. So many women we spoke to have no idea where they will end up. Some are hoping for a warm place to spend the night, maybe some food. Others wanted to travel even further.

“The last few days have been hell,” a lady tells us. “It’s been a tough journey but now I feel safer.”

Heaps of clothes, donated by people near and far, lie by the side of the road. But most here just want to keep moving forward.

If they left hell behind, maybe there’s hope ahead

Temperatures have dropped below freezing and as one bus leaves, another arrives. They can only take 60 people at a time and there are hundreds now.

“Wait!” shouts a policeman. “Six more people, please.”

The mothers lead their children to the bus and they climb the steps and find a seat.

“No more for now,” the officer says, and the door closes.

A charity worker plays the piano to try and bring some joy to the displaced
Picture:
A charity worker plays the piano to try and bring some joy to the displaced

Someone brought a grand piano to the border and placed it by the side of the road.

Davide Martello, a charity worker, sits down and starts playing Here Comes the Sun, by The Beatles.

If the people here have left hell behind them, maybe there is hope ahead of them.

About Franklin Bailey

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