“If the war continues, nothing will be left. It is a bloody war, a monstrous war,” says Kotove, 45, who fled Ukraine to Poland with her 12-year-old daughter in the midst of a looming humanitarian catastrophe in Ukraine. In the freezing night at the border, mother and daughter try to keep warm under a blanket.
“My daughter is just crying,” Kotove says. They fled while bombs were falling. Their grandmother had to stay behind in Ukraine. Russian tanks are advancing on their town. The population is trapped.
As the humanitarian situation in Ukraine gets worse by the hour, families are desperately trying to escape to neighboring countries. Due to the fact that men between the ages of 18 and 60 must stay in Ukraine, many women with children are left on their own. The border crossings are overcrowded. Mothers often have to wait up to two days in the freezing cold with babies and small children. Some sleep in cars, some have to wait outside in the cold without protection at the border.