Ukraine – ‘People need to see what is happening’

On 25 February 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine, a girl looks at the crater left by an explosion in front of an apartment building which was heavily damaged during escalating conflict. The escalating conflict poses an immediate and growing threat to the lives and well-being of the country's 7.5 million children. (Picture: UNICEF)

“We were actually in shock when 5 o’clock came and everyone started to put out the call saying ‘come on, wake up, it’s a war in Ukraine’. It was a big shock,” said Mitchelstown local and Ukrainian national, Iryna Kotyk.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine began last week with the first explosions heard in the early hours of Thursday last, February 24.

This week has seen hundreds and thousands fleeing to the Ukrainian borders to avoid the conflict and air strikes as Russian airborne troops move in on large cities such Kyiv the capital and Kharkiv, the country’s second-largest city.

“The first night it was very scary because Russian rockets were trying to destroy airports and communications in every city. That first night everyone was very scared, but now it’s a bit quieter in some parts and we are trying to help with whatever we can do.

“There’s a very small Ukrainian community in Mitchelstown. It’s about twenty people or less, but everyone has a family at home. Parents, wives, children, grandkids, everyone has a family,” Iryna added.

Full story in this week’s Print & Digital Edition