Conflicts & War

Lviv: an international refuge on the way to Poland

Lviv, Ukraine, Mar 5 (EFE).- For many people fleeing Ukraine, the journey begins in the western city of Lviv, where the train station has become an international refuge providing aid for those in need.

So far, Lviv has been spared from the Russian airstrikes that have rocked multiple Ukrainian cities.

Abigail, an Ecuadorian journalism student at Odesa University living in Ukraine since 2016, has decided to stay in Lviv to help fellow students leave the country.

Alongside her brother and a group of Ecuadorians, the 24-year-old is organizing trips for Latin American students to the border.

“Helping people makes me happy,” Abigail told Efe, although she admits that the first few days were tough with a large number of people rushing to leave in what resulted in chaos.

“There were even fights” as men blocked the entrances to the trains, giving priority to their wives and fighting with others, she added.

Preventing such scenarios is a top priority for the Ukrainian volunteers working at the Lviv station.

Over 1.2 million people have fled Ukraine into neighboring countries since the beginning of the Russian invasion ten days ago, the United Nations said.

Poland has received 650,000 Ukrainians, according to UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

At the border, where people can wait for up to 24 hours to pass customs, there are several humanitarian aid points offering free food and hot tea.

Most of the people queuing to flee the country say they are forced to and they want to return home when possible.

Iryna, a 40-year-old woman, is traveling with her young daughter and hopes to return as soon as the situation improves.

In Rava-Ruska, two men and a woman from Kharkiv also say they want to return.

“Somebody has to rebuild the city when the war is over,” she said. EFE

ok/ta/mp

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