I am from Mariupol and I can’t really remember any dates or days.

We escaped to Lviv from our bombed-out town of Mariupol in March 2022. For the first time we found ourselves in a new city at a church refugee camp, surrounded by strangers. I had to unpack my scarce belongings but I was lying on the floor and staring at the ceiling instead. I was crying  and mourning my friends who died in Mariupol. Suddenly there was a knock on the door. I was surprised because no one knew my address, except for the church administration.

“Who is there?” I asked anxiously at the door. “We are Anya and Andriy, we came to help you.”I opened the door and saw people holding fruit and bags with some help for our family.

How long have you not had any fresh fruit? – The woman asked. – We brought you a supply of fruits, vegetables and vitamins. Do you have any shampoo and toothbrushes? ”

I was wordless because of anxiety and muttered something into the crack in the doorway. They handed me food bags and personal hygiene items: “These are some gifts for you so that you don’t have to run to buy them”. They smiled, wished me a good evening and offered to talk and tell our testimony about how we managed to escape from Mariupol.

This is a monologue by Olena Kuznetsova from Mariupol. She and her husband Mikhail and son Roma used to live just two houses away from the sadly remembered Mariupol Drama Theater, where the Russians dropped a bomb, killing more than 300 people at once.

The family experienced the horrific spectacle of planes carrying hundreds of bombs overhead and then dropping them on apartment buildings.

According to Olena, she does not remember the dates and days, but she knows for sure that for over two weeks they had to cook food over a campfire and warmed each other by the fire trying not  to die of cold and hunger. Daily bombing and fleeing explosions turned her hair completely gray.

Unfortunately, we can’t give the Kuznetsov family their home back, but we can give them hope that they are not alone.

The family thanked for the support non-stop and constantly mentioned those neighbors and friends who survived but were forced to stay in the basements of Mariupol and are starving right now with very small chances for survival.

We thank “Operation Blessing” for feeding over 1,000 internally displaced persons in Lviv alone.

The provided personal hygiene kit are also very helpful –  when people run away from air bombs, they definitely do not think of bringing their shampoos and deodorants.

Thanks to you, refugees have a hope for life.

Thank you very much!


“CBN Emmanuil”