My name is Daria. I am a captain of The Salvation Army. My husband is also an officer of The Salvation Army in the rank of major. We have 2 children ages 8 and 2 years old.
Because the city of Dnipro is now being heavily attacked by missiles, we left Dnipro on April 26 and went to the city of Kropivnitskiy in central Ukraine for security reasons. We are now staying in Kropivnitskiy supporting The Salvation Army.
The situation in Ukraine is very unsettled. We’re tired to death from the suspense. Of course, we are very sad about the thousands of deaths. They are my fellow citizens – fathers, mothers, children and friends.
On February 24, we were startled by explosions early in the morning. It was so dangerous that everyone stayed home. The war has begun.
A lot of people had panic attacks. My whole body was shaking. It wouldn’t stop and I could barely breathe. I felt disgust.
It got better with time. You know, people can get used to anything. Now we hear sirens multiple times a day and night trying to live our daily lives. But we know the rockets are intended to kill us and destroy our homes. If we’re lucky the rocket will be taken down by the air defense.
Our lives have completely changed. Outside on the street, you can feel the tension that affects every area of your life. Daycares and schools are closed. Students are now getting distance learning via the internet. Whether the students are really participating in this misery and whether they can cope with it is unclear.
Prices of all commodities like bread and fuel are constantly increasing. Gas stations are out of gas right now. And if there is gas somewhere, then there is a queue for kilometers. Certain medicines and goods cannot be delivered. Even if people have money, they just can’t get it.
If you want to travel by car from one city to another, you will see soldiers, war gear and military convoys everywhere.
Immediately at the onset of the war, The Salvation Army deployed its forces to help people who had to leave their homes due to the invasion. In Dnipro corps we gave blankets and plaids to these people. Soon there was a shortage of food and we started distributing food packages. We also provided hot meals and bread to refugees who took shelter at the station. Similar actions are carried out by The Salvation Army in the other parts of Ukraine. Our buildings will be made available as a place to sleep wherever possible.
The corps in Kropivnitskiy, Nove (near the Kropivnitzkiy) and Dnipro have now joined forces and we give out 600 food packages, blankets, pillows, plaids and linen to refugees a week. Of the 200 000 inhabitants of Kropivnitskiy, 80 000 no longer have a home. The Salvation Army’s help is desperately needed. Especially because we fear this war won’t be over anytime soon.
And once the war is over, large numbers of people cannot go back to their homes because they are no longer there. The workplaces of many thousands of people will no longer exist, causing them to run out of a source of income. How are they supposed to feed their families then?
We, as The Salvation Army, are prepared to do whatever we can to help the millions of people in need in one way or another. Compared to the Orthodox Church, we are limited in number and possibilities and the influence we have on society is very small. Nevertheless, it is our opportunity to bring people the good news of the gospel and God’s love.
One of our Ukrainian health officers is now fighting in liberating Ukraine.
Although my family and I are relatively safe at the moment, the war violence is not far from us. The violence of tanks, artillery, bombs and artillery constantly claims many lives and people losing limbs. This is our reality right now. No one is safe in our beautiful country anymore.
Thank you for the letters you send to the presidents and for observing a minute of silence every Sunday. Thank you for your prayers and good wishes – all of this is precious!
It’s a difficult time, but we will fight. And we will win one day. I believe so!
Interview for Leger des Heils Korps Zeist