Stories of older people affected by the war in Ukraine


Rima, 92 - Dnipro

“My house in Severodonetsk was destroyed on 10 April. We were in a shelter nearby at the time and stayed mostly underground for around two months in total.

“In the early days of the war, it had been okay and we were just hoping that it would be over soon. Then a lot of shelling started. The situation got worse and soon we were cooking on the fire outside.

RS8005__DSC5984 - Lyubov, 77

Lyubov, 77 - Dnipro Oblast

“My husband died a long time ago and I lived alone in downtown Lisichansk. For 20 days I slept in a corridor in the stairway.

“It was bearable when the shelling was not that hard and then they started to attack really heavily. There was one day when the whole house was shaking, the windows were blown out. I remember there was white powder from the walls in my mouth.

Raisa Andrey,71 and Aleksander, 71, from Severodonetsk live in the outskirts of Dnipro in a tiny place with their two cats.

Raisa, 71 – Dnipro

“I am from Severodonetsk and I arrived in Dnipro two weeks ago with my husband, Alexander, 71, after we were evacuated by volunteers.

“Although our apartment was not hit by Russian attacks, our building was hit several times while we were hiding in the corridor. Next door and the houses right across from us were damaged. Now in Dnipro, whenever I hear the rumble of the tram I instinctively duck for safety.

RS8019__DSC5770 - Valentina, 81

Valentina, 81 – Dnipro Oblast

“I lived in Severodonetsk for almost 50 years. My husband died a long time ago in 1983 and my son already fled to France with his wife and two children.

“I was born in central Russia. My father was a doctor and he died at the beginning of World War Two before I was born. When my mother met a new husband, the father of my two sisters, we moved to western Ukraine.

RS8023_01_DSC5945 - Valentina, 68

Valentina, 68 – Dnipro Oblast

“I am from Lisichansk, Luhansk Oblast, but we left on April 1. I have three children, two are still in Lisichansk and the youngest is here with me. My husband died ten years ago, but I have three grandchildren and five great-grandchildren – I’m a rich woman.

“After the war started, they were shelling and we were lying on the floor, afraid to even leave the area. We had no electricity and water. We spent most of the time in an underground cupboard. I had a stroke in 2018 so it was hard for me to get up and down.