I realised that what I wanted most of all was to get out of there. The next day, I decided to leave. I didn’t even know where I was going. I knew nothing about the situation of my sister and her family.
On the way, I realised that my friend lived nearby, but I didn’t know if she was at home. I drove up to her house. At that moment, it was calm.
She came out to meet me. When she saw me, she said my face was completely white and that I barely could stand on my feet.
Caption: The residents clear their yard after the bombing. Photo: Viacheslav Tverdokhlib
I finally heard more about my sister’s family. We weren’t far apart. They were hiding in a shelter in the city centre, but it would be days before we could see each other.
On March 18th, my sister and her family came to us. I quickly stepped into the car and we drove out of the city. There was a long trail of cars. We stood still for a long time. I got out of the car and looked back at the city. I realised that the city was almost obliterated.
Cars were driving in queues and people were escaping the city as fast as they could. During the last few days there had been heavy shelling. Everything around me was on fire. It is very painful to see the city you love destroyed in front of your eyes.