Riding the ‘evacuation train’: In Kyiv, a scramble to get out as Russians close in

Screenshot of video upload by Sudarsan Raghavan of Washington Post reporting on refugees from Ukraine -Ukrainians flood Kyiv train station to escape Russian attacks, March 2, 2022. courtesy The Washington post video embed screenshot

KYIV, Ukraine – There were young parents with their toddler children in strollers. There were middle-aged women helping their elderly mothers up the steps. And there were sons and daughters desperate to reach their parents. (https://wapo.st/35m3ubK)

As explosions rattled the capital, thousands of Ukrainians headed to Kyiv’s central station on Wednesday in the hopes of catching an “evacuation train.”

Many Ukrainians simply wanted to escape so that their children would never know war: parent like Tanya and Vitaly Snitko, carrying their 4-year-old son Vladik and a sunflower-yellow rolling suitcase.

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For days, they tried to persuade Vitaly’s parents to leave, but they refused. Other relatives agree to care for them, so now the couple was thinking only about Vladik.

They were determined to keep his childhood innocent as long as it was possible in a conflict that was closing in on them and the capital.

“We want to move our kid away from here, ” said Vitaly Snitko. “It’s for him not to see the things that might happen in Kyiv.”

On Wednesday, Ukrainians who reached the train station were more than ever worried about the things that might happen in Kyiv – civilians killed in bombings, families separated by strife, urban war, shortages of food, water, fuel, and other necessities.

Those trying to flee had seen how Russia has pummeled government offices and other buildings in the heart of Kharkiv, the country’s second-largest city. They had heard about Russian warnings of bombing government buildings in Kyiv and of the 40-mile-long Russian convoy of tanks, armored personnel carriers, and other weaponry within 20 miles north of the city’s center.

“We don’t want to wait any longer and experience what happened in Kharkiv,” said Tanya Snitko. “We are afraid for our child. We just need to be sure our child is safe.”

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