Most war refugees in Tartu have jobs, accommodation still needed

Tartu Town Hall with Ukrainian flags.
Tartu Town Hall with Ukrainian flags. Source: Ahto Sooaru

Most of the 500 Ukrainian refugees who have arrived in south Estonia have already found work or school places, but there is still confusion around accommodation and long-term plans.

The majority of new arrivals in south Estonia are staying in the country's second-biggest city, Tartu, ETV's current affairs show "Aktuaalne kaamera" reported on Sunday.

One newcomer, Nadja, and her sons Igor and Timofe visited the refugee center at the former cinema Ekraan and spoke to AK about their time in Estonia. They come from Uman, Cherkasy Oblast in central Ukraine.

Nadja said: "We've come all the way without [paying] a penny. Money wasn't taken from us for anything, everything was free. We met an acquaintance, it was like fate that brought us together. And this acquaintance has been living here for three years. They called and said you will come here and stop here."

She said her main concern now is how to find permanent accommodation and move out of the hotel room the family is staying in. She already has a job at a factory in Tartu and her children will soon start at Annelinna Gymnasium.

AK also spoke to Volodymyr, whose three children will start school in Tartu on Monday. It took the family 40 hours to reach the city from western Ukraine. They fleed after an airport close to their house was bombed three times.

"I have been working here since 2018 and so I know here is ok, and there are good people here. I came here again with my family," he said. The family is also looking for permanent accommodation.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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