Conflicts & War

Anguish and anger as Ukrainians queue to cross Romanian border

Porubne, Ukrainian-Romanian border, Mar 7 (EFE).- Thousands of Ukrainian women, children and older people continue to crowd through the border with Romania some 12 days after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“My clinic has been bombed several times,” Viktoria Klimenka, head of the pediatric department at the Kharkiv university hospital, told Efe as she waited to cross the Porubne crossing in southwestern Ukraine.

“The Russians have destroyed the intensive care department and the surgery department, and have also bombed the oncology floor,” she added.

“What the Russians are doing is worse than fascism; the world must know,” the woman, who traveled over 1,000 kilometers with her friend to make it to the Romanian border form Kharkiv, said.

The 70-year-old plans to take a plane from Romania to the United States to live with her daughter: “It’s time for me to be with my daughter and granddaughter, but I will continue to help Ukraine from outside”.

Right in front of Klimenka, children and babies cry uncontrollably as their mothers continue to comfort them while dragging their heavy suitcases amid relentless snowfall.

At the point where the queue begins, two Ukrainian volunteers offer food and hot drinks to those who arrive, most of whom prefer holding their spot in line until they cross the borders.

Under the blue awning where food is served, next to a dying bonfire inside an old rusty iron drum, some people having trouble crossing the border seek warmth, including Andriy, a middle-aged man from Chernihiv, a city some 150km northeast of Kyiv that has come under extensive Russian bombing.

“It is horrible, there is fighting inside the city and entire areas have been devastated,” he told Efe.

The Ukrainian government has banned male citizens aged between 18 and 60 from leaving to contribute as part of measures to conscript volunteers,

Andriy is thus trapped in his own country.

“I want to cross and go to Prague and meet my wife, who arrived there two days ago, I need help,” he says with an anguished expression.

Foreigners are luckier. In front of the small volunteer tent, an Israeli businessman from the medical sector is advised to abandon his vehicle to cross to Romania on foot and fly from there to Israel.

An Indian student sighs deeply after passing the passport control of the Ukrainian police and lights a cigarette next to the guards’ booth. EFE


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