Ukraine in the Face of War: Our Experience
Hello, I’m Masha Isaeva and I am Ukrainian, born and raised in Kharkiv. There I have my beloved family, best friends, and the company I work for as a Data Scientist, Scalarr.
On February 24th, a horrible feeling woke me up, knowing that what I was hearing was explosions; we were in Kharkiv. It was imperative that we made quick decisions, so I chose to go with my boyfriend and his parents to their country house in a village close to the Russian border. Somehow, we didn’t think that was a bad option. I said my goodbyes to my family as we didn’t really know when we would be seeing each other again; I still hadn’t seen them. Our village was occupied almost immediately. There was no gas, electricity, or means of communication.
After a few days, we were able to find a place where we caught a fickle, unstable signal to communicate, which made it possible for us to contact our loved ones.
The sound of explosions was never-ending; we were keeping safe inside a cellar and only went out to eat when it was relatively quiet. The worst part of it all was when planes were flying over us. Our skin was crawling and our hearts were freezing as we were waiting for a bomb to drop. The house was unbelievably cold, we were constantly in our outerwear with no possibility to wash or take a bath. We cooked on a fire and charged our phones with the help of a neighbor's generator from time to time. That had lasted for two weeks; then, we managed to get out. We escaped and thankfully, everyone is safe now, but I remember those nightmarish two weeks and it saddens me beyond words.
We are in the Boryslav, Lviv region, where very good people hosted us. In the beginning, working was difficult due to the constant worrying about our relatives and terrible news from Bucha, etc. But then it got easier; productivity came along. I realized everyone had their way of contributing, and mine is my work that helps the economy of Ukraine.
I understand that material things don't matter to me. I escaped only with one backpack, a laptop, and only the items I was wearing. And it did not bother me. It turned out that the most important things all along are family, friends, and life. It happened so that almost all my friends gathered in Boryslav, so, fortunately, we can spend time together. I communicate with other friends and relatives by phone or video; we support each other.
My only dream is that the war will end and our regular life will return. I still dream that everyone will stay alive and healthy.