"I have never prayed so much in my life as in these two days"

The Lartsev family from the Kherson Region went through the hellish journey of leaving the occupied territory, which was full of humiliation, intimidation and encroachment on the family's life by creatures called the soldiers of rf.

In order to get to Vasylivka, spouses Maryna and Oleksandr with their 3-year-old daughter and 10-year-old son overcame about 15 roadblocks, and the most terrible tests turned out to be at the last ones.

The occupiers forced to lay out things simply on a cloth on the ground. Everything down to the smallest detail, even underwear. Then one of the soldiers meticulously checked every item, saying: "Why are you leaving? What are you running away, Nazis?".

The FSB was waiting for them at the last checkpoint. Oleksandr and Marina heard how the military was ordered to detain the father of two small children and beat him. In front of his own children, the man was undressed and taken somewhere... And the reason turned out to be that he was simply wearing high boots similar to military ones.

When the family finally left the gray zone and it seemed that these horrors would end, the russians opened fire after them. From shelling, the cars of civilians were raised. It was evening. The road turned into solid mud from the rains and the Ministry of Emergency Situations could no longer come and get the Ukrainians out of trouble.

In order to save themselves, the Lartsev family, together with people from the whole column, went to look for salvation and found a broken, empty house nearby. There, as one family, they lit the stove, drew water from the well and were able to hide from the shelling and spend the night.

In the morning, Ukrainians were waiting for the tow truck like an angel, and at 9 o'clock this angel appeared. However, people were advised to close their eyes because the road will be scary. Knee-deep mud, mines everywhere, the bus sways in different directions. Miraculously, the Lartsev family made it to Zaporozhye unscathed.

Here they were immediately met by volunteers of our Zaporizhzhia partner hub . They warmed, fed and sheltered. And when the family recovered a little from what they experienced, we helped them lay out a route for further evacuation from the city.