My Ukrainian aunt contacted me for the first time in 5 months

The bombing of Kramatorsk railway station by President Putin on April 8 was like a death knell for us. Was Ara, like her other grannies, waiting patiently at the station to escape to the next train, was she a picture of her feet covered in her blanket? Or did she make it? Is she one of the 57 who didn’t?

When my phone got disconnected and I lost contact with my mother, I called the Ukrainian Society and was advised to contact the Red Cross tracking service. She gave me all the details we had including her address and landline phone. As far as we know, Alla didn’t have a cell phone. She sent me a photo.

People board a train bound for Kyiv at a platform in Kramatorsk, eastern Gilda

Despite the best efforts of the International Committee of the Red Cross, nothing was heard. No calls from Ara or anyone to put our questions to rest.

Can she stay with her children in Moscow? Has she fled to Poland to be with other family members? Are you there? Or has Putin already decided his fate, like thousands of other citizens of Ukraine, breadbaskets and European manufacturing hubs?

I can only look back on my historical connection with this volatile and unstable region and appreciate the relatively abundant and peaceful life. Because my grandparents were so ordinary yet extraordinary. Who ate grass to survive the Holodomor, Stalin’s Soviet-Ukrainian famine? Married illegally in a church during World War II, was drafted into the Red Army and sent to a concentration camp.


Dragging two young children (one born in the middle) across the Eastern Front to escape Marxism, Leninism, Stalinism, communism and the whole corrupt region as far as possible. And spent his days in our democratic paradise, owning milk bars and delicatessens at will, educating his children, and spending his retirement in relative peace.

And all I can say now is that we ignore evil at our peril, and hope that by some miracle Aunt Ara will contact us again, even though evil is raging in this region. is.

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My Ukrainian aunt contacted me for the first time in 5 months

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