19 January 2024

Shattered by war, Ukrainian families find solidarity in Bulgaria

Nearly two year of war in Ukraine has wreaked havoc on the lives of families and children. Millions have lost their homes, loved ones and livelihoods, while scores more have sought safety abroad, with more than 180,000 people – including 50,000 children – having received temporary protection in Bulgaria alone. The UNICEF documentary “Childhood 2.0…, Yeva, Yeva hugs a dog at a local pet grooming centre Dog lover Yeva arrived in Bulgaria at the age of just 16, after the war brought terror and devastation to her home city of Kharkiv. "I was not ready to go anywhere, all I wanted was to stay in Ukraine,” says the youngster. “When my father told me to pack up my things, to prepare for a big move, I said…, Lena, Lena takes a selfie of herself with her two sons Lena, a photographer from Kyiv, lives in Sofia with her three young sons. The morning of 24 February is etched into their memories forever. “I woke at 4.20 a.m., when the bomb exploded,” recalls Lena. “It was a horrible morning, so we didn’t say ‘good morning’ but instead: ‘Boys, get up – it is war…, Tetiana, In Bulgaria, Tatiana has overcome her illness, found love and is even expecting a baby. Tetiana fled after a rocket destroyed her home. The shelling followed her all the way to the Polish border, where she squeezed into a van bound for Bulgaria.   “There were only seven seats,” recalls the 25-year-old. “But ten people squeezed in, if not even more…