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Residents of Ukrainian orphanage flee to safety -Breaking


© Reuters. After fleeing Russia’s invasion of Lviv (Ukraine), a group of Zaporizhzhia children board buses to get to Poland. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach


By Andrew R.C. Marshall

LVIV (Ukraine) – Over 200 children were evacuated from a orphanage located in Ukraine’s conflict zones. They arrived in Lviv, Ukraine on Saturday following a 24 hour train ride with their caregivers.

Two-hundred and fifteen children aged from two to fourteen left their Zaporizhzhia orphanage on September 11, when Russian troops invaded a nearby nuclear plant.

Olha Kucher (director of Zaporizhzhia’s Central Christian Orphanage) said, “My heart is being broken.” She began to sob. “I’m sorry. . . It is hard to find the words. It’s so hard to feel sorry for them. They are young.”

Night fell as the temperatures plummeted and children waited patiently at Lviv station to get warm. The older kids looked after the younger ones, while staff from the orphanage carefully counted all of them.

Cuddly toys were cherished by the very young. All the children were happy and did not complain.

Vladimir Kovtun (16 years old) said that he feels safe now. It is scary to live in Zaporizhzhia during air raid sirens. We must hide in our basement all the time.”

Hand in hand and wide-eyed, they were led by other Ukrainians through the ticket hall. According to Andriy Sadovy, the mayor of Lviv, more than 65,000 refugees passed through the station Friday alone.

As snow started to fall, they boarded buses that would take them to their new homes in Poland.

They would have to wait several hours until they reached the border. Kucher was the director of an orphanage. The prospect of safety for her kids after such a stressful journey unleashed mixed emotions.

She said, “But unfortunately we must leave Ukraine. We love it.” “But we cannot stay.

Kucher said, as the last children got on the bus: “Putin simply kills people. . . “I don’t get why Russians can’t believe we’re being bombarded. We and our children are being murdered.”

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