Voices from Ukraine – Tetiana

“This is the longest I’ve ever been separated from both of my triplet sisters! They are back in Ukraine as well as many of my friends. My workplace is still holding my position. I never wanted to leave Ukraine, but my husband said that it would be better for him mentally; to know that at least I am safe and not worrying if a bomb might fall on me. Leaving Ukraine was my way of supporting him. My husband served in the war in 2015. We knew the war was coming again. He received a letter from the army two weeks before it started. On the 24th of February, we went to his parent’s house and, on the 25th, he left for the army. I was left with his parents. My sister-in-law came to the house and told us that she is planning to travel to Ireland with her children and my mother-in-law and asked if I wanted to go with them. At the time, I didn’t really have any other options. Now, it’s been eight months… You know, we were just planning to create a family before the war started. I think we were still dealing with the aftermath of the war in 2015. We got married then. Everything was so unpredictable back then too. He got a week off from the army and we just quickly got married. It’s not easy here. I am living together with my mother-in-law in the same hotel room for over eight months now. I feel that my independence and privacy are really starting to suffer. My husband got a week off recently and I was able to go and see him. I was very much looking forward to it but it ended up being a bittersweet experience. He had lost a lot of weight. He told me many stories about what they had been through; things that haunt me every night since. We spent a week together. We went for long hikes and visited our favourite places, even though some of them are minefields now. It’s hard to make any future plans but my focus is to be with my husband again. It’s just that nothing is really in my control right now. I want to go home and have a normal life. I want to see my husband every day after work, I want to have children and see them play together with my nieces and nephews. There isn’t much else I’d wish for right now, but this has never felt further away.”

Picture here is Tetiana Magai in her Dublin hotel room