Mai Lan

Mai Lan

Pavlo

Pavlo

Maryna

Maryna

Jürgen

Jürgen

Ismail

Ismail

Hubert

Hubert

Salaheldin

Salaheldin

Dimitrie

Dimitrie

Agnieszka

Agnieszka

Abdi

Abdi

Maryna Tseliurenko

Ukraine

2022

Kiev 2022


Russia began advancing its army on Kyiv on February 24, 2022, in violation of international law. After fierce resistance from Ukrainian troops and heavy fighting, the Russian military withdrew from the capital region on April 2, 2022.

No one believed that the war would begin. On the evening of February 23rd, we had an argument because our parents told us to go abroad immediately, and we told them how dangerous it was.

"Home is my hometown of Kyiv", says Maryna Tseliurenko, who was born in 1995. For me, this means „Kyiv schnitzel, […] the Dnipro River and boat trips, […] Khreshchatyk [the central boulevard] and street musicians. It's the people I love, friends, […] my cat.“

Maryna Tseliurenko left the beloved city with her parents, husband and cat after the nighttime Russian attack on February 24, 2022. During the one-day drive west, they heard detonations, experienced fuel shortages, and had to join the miles of waiting cars. At the Polish border, the family was unable to leave the country as planned, as martial law had been imposed in the meantime. The men were not allowed to cross the border. After an uncertain month in western Ukraine, Maryna Tseliurenko and her parents arrived in Germany.

The journalist and linguist now lives in Pirna, where she works at a bilingual grammar school. Just two months after her arrival in Germany, she was offered this job.

Although she feels safe in Germany, the experiences have had a lasting effect:

„At first, I was afraid of every […] unfamiliar sound. When I first […] When I heard the fire alarm, I thought a rocket was about to fly," she sums up: "I'm afraid to imagine what those who saw and heard the explosions and shots and sat in the basement must go through.“

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