My name is Hanna and I am originally from the small city of Kobrin in the Brest Region of Belarus. I moved to the UK 10 years ago, and I have recently started working at the Lincoln International Business School, where I also gained my postgraduate degree in MSc Marketing. During my studies here, I met my partner Vlad, who is originally from Kamianske, formerly Dniprodzerzhynsk, Ukraine. Both of us live and work in Lincoln.
Like everyone else, we were both shocked to learn of the war in Ukraine. Social media became flooded with images and videos of Ukrainian refugees leaving their homes, relatives and everything that they had worked for behind. We felt so powerless, seeing shelled Ukrainian cities like Mariupol’ deprived of basic necessities like electricity, heat, water, food supplies and medicine. We were also lost for words when the images of innocent civilians losing their family members right in front of their eyes surfaced. This was agonising to witness. Nevertheless, I can be nothing but thankful to the reporters of these stories, they have remained in Ukraine, risking their lives to deliver a credible account of these heart-breaking events.
This conflict has impacted on my partner Vlad quite personally. One of his closest family members, his grandma, (aged 83), remained in Ukraine when the war began. At the time, it was unclear whether she would make it to the UK, as there was no convenient way for her to travel to the Polish border from Kamianske. The only option left was to get a slow and overcrowded train to Lviv. It took Vlad’s grandma three attempts to finally board the train and safely arrive in Poland. It has been over two weeks now and she is still waiting to receive her visa to come to the UK to join relatives here. Luckily, some members of Vlad’s family are in Poland to support her throughout this incredibly stressful process, whilst others have remained in Ukraine to help protect their homeland.
The courage and bravery of Ukrainians to remain and protect their freedom and values is something to be admired from the beginning of this terrible war. I sincerely hope that the end of this terrible conflict will come soon and the Ukraine will be a truly free and democratic country!
Слава Україні! (Glory to Ukraine!)
Hanna Pimanava – LIBS Digital Marketing & Recruitment Officer
Vlad’s parents and his grandmother Nina in Rzeszow, Poland