ERR in Ukraine: Refugees returning to the country

ERR correspondent Astrid Kannel on the border between Ukraine and Poland.
ERR correspondent Astrid Kannel on the border between Ukraine and Poland. Source: ERR

While the eastern part of Ukraine is bracing for a new enemy offensive, some refugees are trying to return home as the west of the country has recovered from the initial shock and Kyiv has been cleared of hostiles.

Things have changed compared to a month ago. Women and children are no longer leaving Ukraine in masses. Trucks are queuing at the border to get into the country, likely carrying aid, which situation is unchanged from a month ago.

Kaunas resident Arunas and his son are spending his vacation feeding people coming from other parts of Ukraine. A hundred portions were handed out on Tuesday.

People are coming from the eastern parts of the country and are traumatized.

"They are coming from Kerson, Donbas. There was a live fire exercise at the local training grounds yesterday that startled them. I had to tell them that the Poles are teaching Ukrainian troops how to use new weapons. They said it was good," Arunas told ERR.

We traveled to Lviv on a bus taking people back to Ukraine. Over half a million Ukrainians have returned by now.

"We are going back because we live in Lviv, near the border crossing. We will leave again should the war reach Lviv. But we have spent a month in Poland, and the child wants to see their father," Mariana said.

The Lviv train station, that saw dramatic scenes of thousands scrambling to squeeze into trains leaving the country a month ago, is peaceful today, and a ticket to Kyiv can be purchased almost without standing in line.


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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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