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Update from Ukraine: Lidiya Oryshchuk

2022-03-15

[Submitted by Lidiya Oryshchuk, LCC staff, Admissions. Currently in Kyiv.]

 

I tell my family and everyone who asks that I’m ok and I’m safe, but in reality, I’m neither. I live on the outskirts of Kyiv, on the 17th floor a residential high-rise. The metro is 40 minutes away, no other shelters nearby. There are some basements in the building, but they are not designed to be shelters as all the pipes go through there.


We sleep in the corridor on the floor, and then air strike alerts comes, we rush to the bathroom. Supposedly the safest place. We are lucky to have a comparatively big apartment, so we are not very crammed in here. We hear explosions once every one to three hours every day. The air-raid sirens go off regularly as well. My phone is buzzing with all sorts of messages 24/7. I keep calling my family in Zhytomyr and texting everyone I know. We sometimes go outside, but I haven’t gone anywhere future that a 10-minute walk away from my building during last week.


We have enough food for now, but most shops nearby are either closed or out of essentials. I tried to make sure that we have three meals a day, but it’s getting harder to stick to that routine. There’s water in my bathtub for emergency, in case we don’t have running water, so I can’t really take a normal shower.


My apartment has very large panoramic windows, we have nothing to cover them with. I used to love the view and share pictures of it, now I try to stay away from it as much as possible.


I’m in touch with my neighbors to exchange news and make sure we can help each other. I’ve signed up together with other friends who teach English to help with translating news into English, but honestly, I don’t do much of that as it’s hard to concentrate.
Many people write to me asking to help their relatives evacuate. I can’t help them myself, but I try to get them in touch with people I know who potentially can.


I pray, sing, and try to play the violin. Although yesterday my neighbors asked me not to because it’s too loud and they can’t hear air-raid sirens because of it.


I don’t fear for myself, but I’m worried about my parents and grandparents. I worry that the stress is more likely to kill them than bombs and there’s nothing I can do about it.

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