Two Ukrainian parents living amid war discuss the struggle to keep their families safe

The number of Ukrainians who have left the country is nearing a million people, according to the United Nations. Many more are still in Ukraine unsure of what the next day will bring. Two Ukrainian parents in different parts of the country shared their experience with us, as they desperately try to keep themselves and their families safe.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    The number of Ukrainians who have fled the country because of Russia's invasion could exceed one million within days. Many more are still in Ukraine, unsure of what the next day will bring.

    Two Ukrainian parents in different parts of the country shared their experience with us, as they desperately try to keep themselves and their families safe.

  • Inna Kozub, Kharkiv, Ukraine:

    I'm Inna Kozub.

    I'm living in Kharkiv. People are very frightened who is in apartment, because they hear constant bombing. And I understand how lucky we are because we're in the subway station and don't hear it.

    Every day, twice or three times a day, we get food, milk, water, and even sweets for children. Today, it was the best day. All small children get cakes.

    When I see news, when I state videos, I'm crying. And so I'm trying to be positive with my daughter. And, sometimes, when I go to sleep, I'm crying a little bit to make my stress out. And every morning, when I get up, I saying, "Hi, my daughter" (INAUDIBLE) trying to make him as comfortable here as we can.

    And we are happy that we don't hear what is going on up there.

    I don't know if I will be OK. From time to time, I think this is — I'm dreaming. I have to wake up. And this is — I never feel this feeling.

    And I think everyone — and when I talk — we talk to people, and they — everyone say the same. They think they are dreaming. We can't believe, in 21st century, it could be.

    Vladyslav Stadnyk, Resident of Kyiv: I'm Vladyslav Stadnyk. I'm from Kyiv myself.

    The big war has caught us while we were on a family retreat skiing in the mountains in the western part of Ukraine. And we have done this vacation since the summer, like most normal families do. And we hoped that nothing like that would ever happen to Ukraine.

    So what I have been doing for the past several days is collecting money from everywhere — everywhere in Ukraine, from the diaspora, from just people just from all across the world, and trying to purchase everything we can in the neighboring countries, with vests, bulletproof vests, helmets, and just simple stuff like that.

    What is absolutely incredible is how quickly all of us just simply changed. There are no normal way of being. I have — I have a regular job, like everyone else, which I go to 9:00 to 5:00. I travel a lot. I do a blog about heavy metal music for myself.

    Yet all of these things are — just suddenly became absolutely unimportant. And you understand that the only thing which is important to you is the safety of your family first, and then the safety of your country.

    The scariest thing is to hear your daughter, who is — I have two daughters — one of them is 4 and the other one is 1 — just asking you: "Hey, why can't we go home, and when will the Russians go away from our land, and why did they come?" and just having the struggle of, how do we explain a thing like that to a 4-year-old?

    And how do you make it so it doesn't scar her for life?

  • Judy Woodruff:

    How do you explain it to a 4-year-old, and how do you believe it's the 21st century?

    These are Ukrainian parents.

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