Lives shattered by Russia-Ukraine War


Rehina Bukvych’s journey throughout Ukraine. She started at her home in Boryspil and moved to her parents home in Kyiv. She then took a train from Kyiv to Lviv after she decided that Kyiv was not safe. Currently, she is in Truskavets City, Ukraine.

The Red ‘n’ Green was able to connect with a woman from Ukraine over social media. She was able to provide us with her full name, age and videos confirming her location. Her name is Rehina Bukvych, 27, and is currently in Lviv, Ukraine. She took the train on March 4, 2022, from Kyiv, Ukraine leaving everything she had behind. Kyiv is currently being invaded by Russia and Lviv, being further away from the Russia-Ukraine border, is safer than Kyiv. Bukvych went alone while her family stayed in Kyiv in a private house. 

“The situation is horrible. I am alone. My parents decided to stay at home in Kyiv. Our country was attacked by Russia to seize power and establish the power of Moscow. We think Russia wants to create a Soviet Union 2.0. Putin is the new Hitler,” Bukvych said.  

Before Russia invaded Ukraine, Bukvych was living in Boryspil, which is about 24 miles from Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine. Boryspil is home to Ukraine’s largest airport which has been evacuated since Russia first invaded. 

“On the first day of the war, I heard a bang, it was around four or five o’clock in the morning. Putin started the war like Hitler. The nearest few days on the roads were huge traffic jams. People spent two or three days on the road. They leave their cars on the border with Poland,” Bukvych said. “In the city, there were many block posts and people with weapons. We trust our president and army.”

Ukrainian citizen Rehina Bukvych’s video from her train ride from Kyiv, Ukraine to Lviv, Ukraine. According to Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk, over 83,000 residents have been evacuated from the country in the past two days (March 9 and March 10). “People are standing, there is a crush at the stations and a lot of people,” Bukvych said.

On Feb. 24, 2022, Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Russian troops had been lining up on the borders for months prior. 

“Historically, Ukraine has been part of or under the sphere of influence of the Russians and the former Soviet Union. Ukraine gained its independence from the Soviet Union in August 1991. Over the past ten years, Ukraine has tried to strengthen its relationship with the West, specifically the European Union (EU) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO),” history teacher Jared Marshall said. “This is a perceived threat to the safety of Russia and the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin. Putin stated in a TV address on Russian state media that Russia could not feel ‘safe, develop and exist’ because of what he claimed was a constant threat from modern Ukraine. Over the past ten years, the Russians have tried to stop Ukraine from joining the European Union, which led to the Russian invasion and annexation of Crimea in the southern part of Ukraine, back in 2014. What it comes down to the most is that the Russians do not want a NATO or an EU country directly bordering Russia.”

Ukrainian citizen Rehina Bukvych’s video from the empty store in Ukraine. All of the food supply, fuel and medical supply chains have been interrupted by the violence. “I am in Western Ukraine, but the supermarket still has problems with goods,” Bukvych said.

While this war may be taking place all the way over in Europe, the United States is already facing both political and economic effects. Inflation is currently at decade highs and it will continue to rise. In an attempt to cripple Russia’s economy, the United States along with many other countries have imposed sanctions on Russia and Russian goods. 

“The United States Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) today (Feb. 24) imposed expansive economic measures, in partnership with allies and partners, that target the core infrastructure of the Russian financial system. Building off of President Biden’s initial sanctions announcement this week, today Treasury is taking action against Russia’s top financial institutions, including sanctioning by far Russia’s two largest banks and almost 90 financial institution subsidiaries around the world,” The United States Department of the Treasury said in a statement on their website. 

On March 8, 2022, Russia committed a strike on a maternity hospital in Mariupol, Ukraine. According to officials, at least 17 people were injured including both staff and patients. 

“We don’t understand how it is possible in modern life to bomb a children’s hospital,” the deputy mayor of Mariupol, Serhiy Orlov said in an interview with the British Broadcasting Company (BBC). 

According to the BBC, two million Ukrainians have already fled the country since Russia’s invasion. Now, Russian citizens are also fleeing, fearing what their lives may look like after this war is over. 

“Russian propaganda lies that the operation is peaceful and civilians do not die. Unfortunately, many people in Russia do not know what is happening and support the war. They think that we are glad to be reunited with Russia. But we are not. Our country is democratic and independent,” Bukvych said. 

Ukrainian citizen Rehina Bukvych’s video from a bomb shelter in Truskavets City, Ukraine, about 52 miles from Lviv. “I’ve been here for around 40 minutes. Western Ukraine is a fairly safe place for now, but there is an air raid alert once or twice a day,” Bukvych said.

As of Friday, March 11, 2022, the Russian and Ukraine war is on its 15th day. Bukvych is in Truskavets City, Ukraine and has to take cover in a bomb shelter one to two times a day. 

“How the situation will end is unknown. Ukraine will stand to the last because we want democracy, not the Kremlin’s dictatorship,” Bukvych said. “Now the Kremlin’s policy is dangerous for humanity. In Russia, there is dictatorship, censorship, and people are imprisoned who oppose the war.”