The story of the survivors: how a mother and daughter escaped after the shooting of a car in which five of their loved ones died

They wanted to escape, but came under fire. A family with friends – four adults and three children – went by car from their native Chernihiv on March 9. Only two survived. A woman with a little daughter. The woman spoke about what they had to endure and how they feel now.

Olesya and Sergey got married in 2019. Soon the couple had a daughter, Veronica. Olesya, 29, recalls how happily they lived in their home in Chernihiv.

They decided to leave their hometown because it was very scary to live under shelling. On a neighboring street, a rocket flew into the house – the whole family died.

On March 5, they decided to leave the city in their car. With Olesya, Sergey and Veronika was Sergey’s sister with her 15-year-old daughter and acquaintance with her 14-year-old daughter. Seven people and a small dog drove out of the city. Suddenly the shelling started. After the first hit, they still tried to go further, after the second explosion, the car was thrown onto the side of the road. Several people jumped out of the car. Olesya heard her baby crying. Cars continued to drive along the road, Olesya began to move towards the road together with the child, clinging to the grass. Two cars stopped, one took Olesya’s daughter, the second took her. Both were taken to the hospital.

Olesya had many burns, her eyes were injured, her ribs were broken, her knee was knocked out, a shrapnel wound to her head, shoulder, back and arm. Two-year-old Veronika also suffered – there were wounds on her hands, cuts on two fingers, a crack in her pelvis and a wound on her head. The mother and daughter spent a month in the Nezhin hospital.

All this time, Olesya was looking for her husband and relatives. She posted their photos on social networks, called the police, volunteers. They were found after 28 days. They were all dead. On April 4 they were buried. Olesya could not say goodbye to them. She spent all this time in a hospital in Kyiv. On April 1, she had an operation on her eyes, they took out the fragments. The other day, the girl underwent a second operation. There’s another one ahead. Doctors are doing everything possible to restore the girl’s sight.

Doctors also save Olesya’s face and hands. Deep fragments were taken out immediately, now the caked plastic is removed from under the skin with a laser. At the end of the treatment, Olesya will return home. To her daughter, who already recognizes her and asks all the time where her mom and dad are. The child knows what a bomb is, a siren, tells their tragic story in his childish language.

The war took Olesya’s most precious thing: her husband and relatives, but the woman understands that for the sake of her daughter she must be strong. She believes that when the war ends, she will live without fear of sirens, mines and under a peaceful sky.

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