On February 24, I woke up at 7 am, woke my daughter Rada up and immediately fell asleep. Rada told me:
— Mom, I hear the sound of a siren.
— It’s OK. Go to school, – I answered her in a half dream
— Mom, my friend Vera writes that she hears the sound of bombs and the sky has a strange color.
At this point, I woke up and turned on my phone. The first message came from my mother: “You were right. You and Rada must leave Kyiv.”
The next message was about the closure of the school.
I tried to buy plane tickets.But after only 2 hours of war, the airport had already been bombed.
I was told about this for 2 months, but I was in a panic and started throwing everything that came to hand into my backpack. Rada sobbed that she did not want to go anywhere and did not want to leave her friends. I yelled at her that she had no choice and we were going to leave Kyiv.
It took 30 minutes to assemble what we needed.
We grabbed our rabbit in a carrier and 3 backpacks.
One friend said that it took him 3 weeks to prepare for moving to Turkey. I had 30 minutes…
For the next 24 hours we were running to the border of Moldova.
We ran out of the house and took the minibus to the subway. On February 24th at 8:00 am the subway was still running.
We got out from the left bank to the right of the river Dnipro.
We got to the bus station. There were no buses.
I went out to the road and began hitchhiking. We were offered to go to Obukhov. We left Kyiv in 4 hours. Then another stranger drove us to the village through traffic jams.
We left the rabbit in the village. I couldn’t get him the paperwork to leave.
I have a house in the village where I lived and very old car which didn’t work properly. My neighbors in the village tried to dissuade me from leaving. They said it would all be over soon. But I didn’t believe them. A friend asked if I would really go to Turkey in my old car. I replied that I would drive this car, and if it broke down, I would go on foot.
We went to the neighboring town of Boguslav. We had to buy empty gas cans and gasoline to stock up. Within a few hours, canisters rose in price by 10 times, and it was impossible to buy gasoline at gas stations.
We spent 3 hours searching for canisters and gasoline. We stocked up on gasoline to cross the border into Romania. I did not consider Poland, because everyone goes there.
Two of my male friends decided to come with me and my daughter.
We left the village at 7.30 pm.
There were huge traffic jams everywhere.
I decided to change direction and go to the border in Moldova. This was the closest border. I thank all my friends for their help in making that decision.
I chose the longest road, but less loaded with cars.
There were no explosions or shots along the way.
We reached the border with Moldova in Mogilev Podolsk at 5.00 am.
I was even afraid to go to Kyiv from the village in my car, but we drove without problems about 500 km.
When we came to the border we found out that they closed the border for men trying to leave.
I left the car with my friends.
I am very grateful to them for their help.
Rada and I crossed the border on foot at 7.00 am. An hour later we got on a bus to Chisinau.
My friends had been warning me of this turn of events for the past month and I was mentally prepared for it.
I was not well prepared physically.
But I am very grateful to the friends who helped me and my daughter.
In Chisinau, I, my daughter and another girl from Kyiv, whom we met on the way, went to Bulgaria. In Bulgaria we were met by my partner Aziz.
From there, a few days later we got to Turkey.
After spending 2 weeks in a bomb shelter my mom decided to leave Ukraine. She came through Moldova and Hungary to meet up with me in Turkey. It took 7 days.
We rented an apartment in the city of Fethiye in southwest Turkey.
It was a very difficult time for all of us.
In Ukraine, we lived our lives, we had everything, and then at one moment our whole life collapsed. My daughter and mother were in a difficult mental state. I had new relationships.
I started to rebuild my business in Turkey.
I am very grateful to the people who helped me financially and psychologically at that time. My partner Aziz supported me very much.
In Fethiye, we became part of the Sufi community of the Sufi teacher Cem Baba. It was also a big support for me.