Yuliia and her 11-year-old daughter, Eva, lived in a small town close to Dnipro, Ukraine, enjoying a quiet and pleasant life together. At first, when the full-scale war started in February 2022, Yuliia didn’t want to leave Ukraine. “I hesitated for a long time. I could not imagine leaving my family and my homeland. I felt like I would betray them,” she says.

Bakhmut used to be a calm and beautiful place suitable for a peaceful life, until the war completely ruined it, just like it ruined the houses and lives of the people who lived there. Olena is one of them.

A very interesting interview took place a couple of days ago between IOM frontline workers and Anastasia at the Transit Center in Michalovce.

A couple of weeks ago, Olena (49), her husband (57) and daughter Nastia (19) visited Košice HotSpot to get some information about life in Slovakia. During their visit, they recalled dramatic events of the past year that made them leave their home town Mykolaiv and shared their story. 

Svetlana from Kremenchug, Poltava region, came to the Michalovce Transit Centre for registration a couple of days ago. The decision to move to Slovakia for permanent residence was not easy for her. 

“I got pregnant with my son just after my final exam for my bachelor’s degree,” Yulia explains in fluent English. “The baby was literally a gift to me.

Every day people from Ukraine come to Slovakia, looking for safe refuge here. Many of them turn to IOM infopoints at border points of entry and assistance centres for information, advice and assistance. We bring you their stories that they shared with our IOM frontline teams. 

Košice – Before the war started in Ukraine, Anzhelika and her two daughters, Ruslanka (20) and Valeria (22), had a peaceful life in Borodyanka, in Bucha Raion of Kyiv province. The 48-year-old mother worked at a jewelry store and spent her days daydreaming about her daughters’ weddings and future grandchildren – until the 24th of February.

In the past, Ms. Lavra has left Ukraine for work several times. In 2020, she decided to take this step again to earn a living and studies for her daughter. As a result of a bad financial situation, she was willing to accept any job, even without a work permit and in unsuitable working conditions

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Mariia, a 25-year-old public relations manager, used to live in Kyiv together with her husband, Sasha. They both worked and lived to the fullest in the city, but when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, they decided to move to the countryside, to a quiet village on the outskirts of Cherkassy.