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Just married (in the middle of a war). Kirill and Polina's story


We have become far-too-accustomed to hearing horrific stories from the war in Ukraine. Kirill and Polina give their account of the atrocities of the conflict here (the text below is an imperfect translation of their words, but the dreadful, unspeakable events this young couple have lived through are all-too-clear). They fled a town near Kyiv, in the Troyeshchyna area, where they feared they would die; the details of their escape are harrowing. In the midst of the dark suffering, however, they decided to get married. It was not the joyous family event they had planned, but they are now together in the relative safety of the city of Chernivtsi, western Ukraine. They wanted to thank those who have helped them in the last few weeks, one of them being Sasha, a friend of EMF's Vitaliy and Liudmyla Mariash, and deacon in the 'Heart of Jesus' Evangelical Church in Chernivtsi. He has worked ceaselessly and tirelessly to provide relief to internally displaced people in this Ukrainian city, distributing aid which EMF's appeal funds have been helping to provide; he has passed on Kirill and Polina's words of gratitude to all those who have donated money so that they and others can survive.

'Hello from Kirill and Polina!
We want to share our story with you

On the morning of February 24, like all of Ukraine, we woke up from explosions.  They were so strong that the windows shook.  No one knew what was happening, but everyone understood that something was definitely wrong.  We started watching the news, where we were told that Russia had attacked Ukraine.  Until this day, the news has already been broadcast that we would collect an alarm bag and be ready for anything.
We spent the first day in Kyiv.  and morally it was very difficult.. people began to panic, the queues at ATMs, for water, at shops, pharmacies and gas stations were simply endless, all food and medicine quickly ran out.
On the second day of the war, we decided to go to our friend in Berezovka (35 km from Kyiv).  Due to the huge queues to leave the city, we drove these 35 km for a very long time.  On the way, we saw a lot of military equipment and people with weapons, many participants in the territorial defense (ordinary residents, not military men, who were quickly trained and given weapons).  They dug trenches, set up roadblocks, and this all added to the horror.
the first day there was very calm, no sounds indicating that the war had begun, everything was quiet and peaceful.  on the second day, not far from our house (600-700 meters), a military helicopter was shot down.  We still don't know if it was a Ukrainian helicopter or a Russian one..because that day the army entered our village.  Communication was practically lost, and with the fact that the helicopter was shot down, the power lines were also shot down, and our electricity was turned off.
The next day, heavy shelling began, we heard shots nearby all day long, we saw people with machine guns walking around the village with weapons and knocking on the doors of their homes… it was very scary that day.  We all had to go down to the first floor, sit in the corridor and be silent, not make a single sound, because, as our fellow villagers told us, it was dangerous.  After lunch there were also many explosions, but one sounded very close.  The windows began to shake and after a couple of minutes we decided to open the curtains.  We saw that the veranda window was completely broken, large flower pots were also destroyed.  They saw smoke, realized that a fire had started ... went out into the street, saw that a dog (sheepdog), which was originally located on the territory of this house, was hit by a fragment and cut through / grew completely cartilage and tail, the dog was lame and there was a lot of blood.  All the animals were very scared, and you don’t even know how to calm them down, since you yourself are completely terrified.  Also, going out into the street, we saw that a shell (or a huge fragment, from which more fragments flew further into the house, into the dog, into the windows), hit right under the territory of our house and a fire started in the field.  And only thank God, the wind led the fire in the other direction.  Sitting in the house you saw the shadow of the fire and it was very scary.  In complete darkness, they would cook food.  still heard explosions.  We made a bed for ourselves in the corridor and it was our first terrible night.  The connection was gone and only I had (Polina).  Everyone started calling my phone, sending various information about how we can get out.  And the problem was that we had to drive about 30 km to a quiet road.  But we just couldn't go, because there were military Russians there, from whom we didn't know what to expect.

Because of the explosions and the constant calls from our relatives, we got up very early and decided to leave.  Leave towards Makarov, we thought to go through it, and now we understand that it was a big mistake.
we have seen the work of God in everything, everywhere and all the time.  In the house we arrived at, the owner left 2 fully refueled cars in the garage when the car we got there was already completely without fuel ... and there was no way to refuel at all.

As a result, we had 3 cars, and 2 people who know how to drive and are able to do it now. The solution was found based on all the risks of the situation: we put our friend Nika (Polina’s friend), she NEVER sat behind  driving and did not drive anything except an ATV (1 time, literally an hour).  Before that, at night, Nika and I wrote large inscriptions - DELIVERY, on sheets of A4.  glued them on cars, thought that it could save us, in case of hitting the Russian army,now when we see all the photos where all the people, children, pregnant women are shot from behind in the head with their hands tied, we understand that this would not help.  * in our "team" there were 13 people: 5 adults, 3 children (2, 4 and 8 years old), 4 pensioners and 1 pregnant woman at 9 months, the last week.
that morning, we frantically packed our things, gathered all the animals, stuffed everything and everyone into cars and drove out.  In the morning, the field was still burning from the shell, snow fell and Now it became more dangerous (when we were driving, all the fallen snow was lifted up behind us and we could be seen from afar ...)
we were riding fastened, so that in the event of shelling - to bend down ... from this understanding, now, I want to cry.  But then we had no choice.  We rode and prayed to stay alive.  The 10 km road was really long and scary, there was silence, we did not hear anything, did not see people and cars, we were all alone and it became very gloomy.  We got to the nearest village and there was the first stop, they simply didn’t want to let us go further, because the Russians were further away, it was dangerous to drive, the column was moving, but it was not clear how far it was and whether we had time to drive .. our pastor, who decided  they took all the questions with these people to some building and didn’t let them out for a long time, we couldn’t understand what was happening, but later they let him out and we still went.  Nika kept driving very well) we drove up to Makarov and all the worst began there.  Approaching the fork (on the left - our road, on the right - the village), we were stopped by the defense and forbade us to go completely, they said that they had just been in the direction where we had to go and there the Russians shot the car.  They shoot at everything that moves.  At that time, strong explosions began, already somewhere nearby, the machine guns began to be heard even louder and the people who stopped us said to wait with them in their basement for the time being, as a column of the Russian army was coming right at us.  We left the cars as they were, closed all the dogs in the shed so that they would not run out and go down to the basement themselves.

Waiting in the basement

We spent the next 4 days there… it was awful.  The Russian army occupied the village, the connection, again, remained only with me.  There is no Internet, news - too.  It was very scary.  We spent almost the whole day in the basement, climbed to the top and then went down again.  It was very cold in the basement, from it we heard how a column of tanks was driving right along our street, now we can distinguish all the sounds: machine guns, how tanks drive, shots of hail, tanks and other cannons .. explosions were very close there, at night  the sky was on fire, because burning shells were constantly rising into the sky.  Dogs were constantly barking, we practically did not sleep and ate very little, because we constantly went down to the basement and it was not at all up to it.  One night a shell fell across the house from us, something brightly lit up in the sky, it was very loud, everything was trembling .. we quickly ran to the basement, the children were crying, everyone was afraid.  We slept constantly in clothes both day and night.  that night we spent in the cellar.  there was practically no place, it was insanely cold, well, there I was with a nickname - I got very sick ..
there.  I prayed around the clock ... as soon as I did not sleep, I tried to pray.  Constantly…

In my head in the following days there were only one thoughts: “I can die now, 50/50%.  In the best case, my mother will receive my corpse in a box, at worst, a shell will hit me, tear off some limb, I will feel it all and die slowly ... ”that’s what I lived with those 4 days.  I didn’t have a face, I didn’t hysteria, I didn’t cry ... there was just nothing.  Cyril was my main support and care from God.  He calmed me down, took care of me… there was a moment when he went out into the street, explosions started abruptly right around our house, I stood, poured porridge on everyone… I hear it all, but Kirill never comes home.  At that moment, I understood that the probability that something had hit him was very high, my heart sank into my heels, there was a stupor.  After 30 seconds, he came in, but this short time - it was an eternity ... when I saw that he was alive - I had not been so glad for a long time!
Somehow, sometimes, there was a connection.  People from the church tried to connect with us, we asked to pray and speak,some news to us what is going on.  Communication was not always, in one laziness it was not there for a day ... then both we and our loved ones had nothing but prayers, tears and nerves ... This went on until March 3.  On the 3rd, we didn’t hear practically anything at night, there weren’t particularly explosions, in the morning we saw a tank in Ukrainian camouflage colors.  The connection disappeared completely, we didn’t understand what was happening, we were able to literally dial 3-5 times to our relatives, say that we were alive and find out some news (we didn’t tell them ANYTHING that was happening to us, they said that everything was in order,  because they didn’t want them to worry even more).  We were told by phone that the news was that Makarov had been recaptured.  Repulsed by the Ukrainian army.  Then there was a stupor.  We asked the Terodefense if it was possible to go, everyone shrugged and said that we had beaten them off the track, but what was next was unknown.  We decided to go, as we understood that it would be very dangerous to stay.  We quickly loaded everything again, said goodbye to the people who sheltered us (they did not want to go with us), and drove off.  A Ukrainian tank immediately followed us, we got into the "green corridor".  Everywhere they saw only our army, many checkpoints, many checks of everything, documents, cars, verbal questions.  They always wished us a good road, they always smiled at us and reassured us.  We always felt support from our military!  we were driving on a broken road.  There were a lot of shot cars of civilians on it, burning and broken Russian tanks, the track itself was very beaten, all road signs and signs were smeared with paint to disorient the enemy.  Many completely destroyed and burned down villages, houses… even saw parts of human bodies, just on the road… it went on for quite a long time.  We went to the emergency gang and soon we joined the convoy of cars.  We were no longer alone, and this was a little, but calming.  Nika was driving again and now, she had to travel 600 km ... and thank God - we did it!  we got out of there!  We were driving and praying, still not wearing seat belts, what if…
when they no longer heard the shots, they could not believe it.  On the way we stopped at a house of prayer, where we were fed.  There were big and loud doors, and every time they closed - I shuddered ... it was like that for some time.  Everywhere, wherever we are.  We got to the first point of lodging for the night, there for the first time in a week, we were able to wash, wash things, sleep.  It was very wild and strange ... in the morning we went to Chernivtsi, where we are to this day.  Some of us crossed the border and went to the Netherlands.  Husbands sent their wives, children.  But I stayed with Cyril.  and we decided to get married.  On the last day, before the departure of our pastor, he married us.

Kirill (Cyril) and Polina- Just married!

And now we are a family!  We are very happy about this) now men who can serve according to all criteria, who have no legal grounds, cannot leave Ukraine to cross the border.  Therefore, we decided that since we can’t leave together, then we’ll stay here together.  A pregnant girl gave birth the next day upon arrival in Chernivtsi!  There is a separate piece of evidence for it.
In Chernivtsi we met our friend Alex.  Through him we got a lot of help from ukanhelpukraine.  We were given the necessary hygiene products, food and medicine, which we were able to send to our parents in Kyiv!  We feel support from them and indeed, that necessary help ... now there is no money to buy a lot that they gave us) the same with medicines - they simply are not now in Ukraine and we can’t even get them, we didn’t even know how ... we want to express to them  special, big thanks!  It is very lazy and pleasant when you realize that someone cares about you, that you are important and that you are taken care of!  Thank you!

When you remember all this, share it with someone, it’s hard to restrain your emotions, it covers you very much ... our relatives still don’t know even half of what we experienced.  We will tell them when we meet.
we are constantly praying for an end to this whole nightmare, as we understand that we were very close to what the people of our country experienced in Bucha, Irina, Gostomel and other occupied cities.
Our village was also occupied by them... as many as 2 times, 2 villages... anything could happen.  But we are alive!  Now we learn a lot of information that our relatives, friends and close people are dead .. by executions of the Russian army, explosions on mines and stretch marks .. it is still difficult to come to an understanding of how to live with this.  we do not know how long this hell will last, but we believe that God is good and will never leave his people.  We pray and ask you to pray with us for Ukraine!

The help that we are now receiving from you is very valuable!

Grateful for the aid they receive!

P.S.  also, the dog that was hit by the fragment is alive!  We took him to the veterinary clinic, his tail was amputated, everything was cleaned of pus, he began to gain weight and now we are just looking for new owners and a new home for him) this is a German shepherd, his name is Bay
and a second dog (spaniel), named Koko, is now a member of our family!  We took it to ourselves and are already teaching commands a little)
parrots, which we also took out from under shelling, also found new owners!
their former owner will not return to Ukraine and will not take the animals.!
 Kiril & Polina, Kosatskie family, refugees from Kiev
April, 2022'

Prayer Points

Please pray:

  1. For this young couple as they start married life and want to serve the Lord. That they will leave behind the trauma and begin to build a life together.
  2. For their family, still far away and in need back in the Kyiv area.
  3. For the relief work carried out by Sasha (Alex) and the Christians in the Chernivtsi churches and for gospel opportunities for these faithful servants.