Ukrainians desperately try to flee Kyiv as Russians advance: ‘It’s an absolute nightmare’

Emmanuel and Sylvester, IT professionals from Nigeria, said they were saddened to leave Kyiv, the city they have loved for the past four years. After not leaving their apartments for five days and sleeping last night in a bomb shelter, they hoped to find a train that would take them west, where they could cross into the European Union and back home.

My mom told me she would kill me before [Putin] Emmanuel said.

They said they chose to try to get to Hungary after reading Reports That Ukrainian police and border guards harassed Nigerian citizens trying to escape, and that the Polish authorities were denying entry to people like them.

Nearby, Molvina, a mother of two daughters, 10 and 5, is crying on the floor of the train station’s international hall. Along with their little terrier Kompot, named after the homemade fruit juice popular in this part of the world, she hoped they could make it to Poland.

“We don’t know what to do next,” she said. “All we have is here now.”

All she could take were three small bags of possessions and a dog.

We hope to be back soon. We will “I’ll be back soon,” she said defiantly.

She said that she left Georgia for Ukraine after Russia invaded her homeland in 2008. She has spent the past 14 years building a new life, but Putin is destroying it again.

Behind her, people lined up at the International Chamber’s CafĂ© France, which usually serves buttery croissants and steamy cappuccinos. On Tuesday, she sold simple Lipton tea in plastic cups and slices of white bread. At about 2:30 pm, tea ran out, and the cafe distributed hot water to warm people while they waited.

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