‘It was hell’: Long lines of Ukrainian refugees at Poland border | Russia-Ukraine crisis News


Medyka, Ukraine-Poland border – Heat rays of the morning solar take away the final indicators of frost from the vehicles parked in countless strains alongside the street.

Medyka – the principle border crossing between Poland and Ukraine – is slowly waking up, and so are dozens of women and men who spent the evening in parking heaps, ready for his or her family members to reach.

Because the starting of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24, greater than 115,000 refugees have crossed into Poland, the Polish Ministry of Inside Affairs mentioned on Saturday. Anybody from Ukraine is allowed entry, even those that don’t maintain legitimate passports, Polish officers mentioned.

The United Nations Refugee Company says greater than 120,000 Ukrainian refugees have left the nation since Russia invaded Ukraine on Thursday.

Ukraine refugees at Poland borderFor some refugees, it takes greater than 24 hours to cross the border between Ukraine and Poland [Agnieszka Pikulicka-Wilczewska/Al Jazeera]

However for many Ukrainian refugees, it took days to flee the battle.

Helena, 49, from Drohobych in western Ukraine, is sipping tea and consuming a sandwich she obtained from volunteers. She has household in Poznan, Poland, and she or he is aware of the arduous journey will quickly be over.

Nevertheless it took her 24 hours to cross the border and arrive to security. “It was hell,” she instructed Al Jazeera earlier than she burst into tears.

For Denis, a 30-year-old from Chernivtsi, Ukraine, who works at development websites in Poland, it was a tough evening as effectively. He arrived at Medyka on Thursday to fulfill his spouse and youngsters coming from Ukraine. However after a complete evening of ready, they had been nowhere in sight.

“They’ve been on the border for over 24 hours. In the beginning, they wished to cross on foot nevertheless it was exhausting, in order that they discovered a bus. At the least it’s not as chilly as exterior,” he mentioned.

“However for the previous 5 hours or so, they aren’t letting anybody by means of. It’s unclear why.”

Whereas Denis’s spouse and youngsters are on their solution to reunite with him, his mom determined to cross again into Ukraine. She didn’t need to be away from her husband and two different sons, who may quickly obtain a name for service.

“My father fought in Afghanistan and he is aware of what a battle is like,” Denis mentioned.

“He was able to sacrifice his life for the Soviet Union. Now he is able to sacrifice his life for Ukraine in opposition to the brand new Russian energy,” he mentioned.

“It’s a paradox. However everybody can see what the Russians are doing. They took Crimea, Donbas, now they need Kharkiv.”

Instead of fleeing war, hundreds of Ukrainians return homeAs a substitute of fleeing battle, lots of of Ukrainians return dwelling [Agnieszka Pikulicka-Wilczewska/Al Jazeera]

Denis instructed Al Jazeera he may be a part of the combat too, however first desires to verify his spouse and youngsters are secure. In per week or two, he mentioned, if the enemy is nearer to his hometown of Chernivtsi, he should take up arms.

“If they arrive nearer to our houses, we should return and combat. For thus a few years, now we have labored to construct the nation that even when a few of us depart, others should keep. If everybody leaves, who will defend us?” Denis requested.

For the primary half of the day on Friday, extra folks crossed into Ukraine than had been seen leaving the border – a puzzling paradox in a time of mass exodus.

Ukrainian refugees additionally complained about ready hours to obtain the Polish stamp, lack of meals out there within the passage between Ukraine and Poland, and extreme chilly within the area.

Amid the border chaos, volunteers handed out water, heat garments and blankets to the conscripts crossing into Ukraine to affix the combat.

The gear will enable girls and youngsters – stranded between Poland and Ukraine and nonetheless ready for an opportunity to get to security – to outlive one other freezing day.

Polish and Ukrainian volunteersPolish and Ukrainian volunteers work day and evening in any respect border crossings to offer water, scorching drinks and meals to refugees arriving from Ukraine [Agnieszka Pikulicka-Wilczewska/Al Jazeera]

Yelena, a 43-year-old refugee herself, is without doubt one of the volunteers handing out the objects.

She arrived in Poland nearly a 12 months in the past from Belarus. When she came upon that Russia had launched a full-scale invasion in opposition to Ukraine, she didn’t need to keep idle.

“I wished to affix the battle. The Polish border guard let me by means of, however the Ukrainians didn’t. why? As a result of I’ve a Belarusian passport,” Yelena instructed Al Jazeera.

“All kind of assist is required there: somebody has to prepare dinner, somebody has to care for the wounded. I even tried to cross a second time, however to no avail.”

INTERACTIVE- Where are Ukrainians fleeing to poster

Yelena mentioned she then destroyed her Belarusian passport in protest in opposition to the battle and joined the Ukrainian and Polish volunteers on the border.

“I really feel ashamed for Belarus. Ukraine has to win this battle,” she mentioned. “Slava Ukraini [Glory to Ukraine].”

She then handed a blanket and a number of other bottles of water to a younger man coming into the border crossing in the direction of Ukraine.

Olga is ready in the identical queue. She stands out from the remainder of the gang; her lengthy, trendy coat with quirky patterns and impeccable hair attracts consideration.

INTERACTIVE- Visa requirements for Ukrainians

Olga and her boyfriend Sergey had been ready for a flight again to Ukraine at an airport in Vilnius, Lithuania, after they heard concerning the battle unfolding of their homeland.

“We went to Lithuania for a weekend and we obtained caught in there. Our flight dwelling was cancelled. For the primary few hours, we couldn’t perceive what was happening, we couldn’t consider it,” the 33-year-old everlasting make-up artist instructed Al Jazeera.

She now hopes that after again in Ukraine, she is going to be capable to volunteer in a hospital as a nurse. She mentioned she desires to make herself helpful.

Her boyfriend Sergey is 38, which implies he’s within the conscription age. He works as a sound director and has by no means held a gun.

But when his expertise aren’t sufficient to assist the battle, he can be taught new ones, he says with an air of confidence. “No matter it takes to assist the nation.”

It took the couple two days to get from Vilnius to the border. All buses on the route had been cancelled, and there have been no trains both. Ultimately, “Lithuanian brothers” drove them straight to Medyka.

Whereas Sergey is afraid of battle, he says it by no means crossed his thoughts to remain elsewhere in Europe.

“There’s one Ukraine and we will’t lose it. It’s our homeland and it’ll by no means be Russia.”

Singer-songwriter Mitski brings surging energy and emotions to ‘Laurel Hell’ : NPR


Mitski claims new floor on her sixth album, spreading herself throughout totally different sorts of pop music with every new track. The result’s extra diversified than something she’s created to this point.



DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

That is FRESH AIR. The singer and songwriter Mitski made one of the vital acclaimed albums of 2018. It was known as “Be The Cowboy,” and it appeared on lots of year-end greatest lists. However quickly after its launch, Mitski introduced she was achieved with touring and maybe making music. Thankfully for her followers, she determined over the course of a pandemic lockdown that she wished to make one other album. This new one, her sixth, is known as “Laurel Hell,” and it debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s album gross sales chart. Rock critic Ken Tucker says it is extra diversified than something Mitski has but created.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, “THAT’S OUR LAMP”)

MITSKI: (Singing) We fought once more. I ran out of the condo. You say you’re keen on me. I imagine you do. However I stroll down and up and down and up and down this avenue ‘trigger you simply do not like me, not such as you used to.

KEN TUCKER, BYLINE: That is Mitski working out of her condo after a spat, deciding that the particular person she’s with might love her however does not actually like her anymore. The distinction between loving and liking is, in fact, a vital distinction continuously being monitored in any relationship. On her new album, “Laurel Hell,” Mitski observes and analyzes distinctions with a superb diploma of subtlety, which isn’t to say that she’s at all times so contemplative. On “The Solely Heartbreaker,” she turns into a disco queen, crooning in a cross between ABBA and Donna Summer season.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, “THE ONLY HEARTBREAKER”)

MITSKI: (Singing) If you happen to would simply make one mistake, what a aid that will be. However I believe for so long as we’re collectively, I will be the heartbreaker. I will be the one heartbreaker. I will be the one heartbreaker. So I am going to…

TUCKER: The lyrics of “The Solely Heartbreaker” state particularly a story technique she pursues in numerous songs right here. I will be the dangerous man within the play, she says. At a time when a lot popular culture is suggesting that photos of girls must be optimistic ones, Mitski says, wait a minute. There are occasions in my life once I wasn’t the great man. I screwed up. I made errors and damage individuals. This insistence upon emotional complexity provides a vital unpredictability to lots of her greatest new songs.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, “LOVE ME MORE”)

MITSKI: (Singing) If I preserve myself at residence, I will not make the identical mistake that I made for 15 years. I could possibly be a brand new woman. I will probably be a brand new woman. I want that this could go away. However once I’m achieved singing this track, I must discover one thing else to do to maintain me right here, one thing else to maintain me. This is my hand. There’s the itch, however I am not imagined to scratch. I want you to like me extra, love me extra, love me extra. Love sufficient to fill me up, fill me up, fill me full up. I want you to like…

TUCKER: I like the surging vitality of that track, “Love Me Extra,” and I like this line in it. Once I’m achieved singing this track, I am going to have to search out one thing else to do to maintain me right here. Mitski dramatically expanded her fan base singing in a low, haunted voice all through a lot of her earlier album, “Be The Cowboy.” One other key facet of “Laurel Hell” is that her tone varies a lot extra.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, “SHOULD’VE BEEN ME”)

MITSKI: (Singing) Properly, I went by my checklist of associates and located I had nobody to inform of this overwhelming, clear feeling, unusual serenity. Once I noticed the woman – appeared identical to me – and it broke my coronary heart the lengths you went to carry me, to get to have me – ‘trigger I have not given you what you want. You wished me however could not attain me. So that you went into your reminiscence, relived all of the methods you continue to need me. I have not given you what you want. You wished me however could not attain me. I am sorry. It ought to’ve been me.

TUCKER: From track to track, I hear the echoes of girls who preceded her – the smile-though-my-heart-is-breaking croon of Diana Ross, the full-throated accusations of Dusty Springfield, the hovering bliss of Anne Murray. Then I hear Mitski herself claiming new floor just like the mountain laurel of the album title, spreading herself throughout increasingly more sorts of pop music with every new track.

DAVIES: Ken Tucker reviewed the brand new album from Mitski known as “Laurel Hell.” If you would like to compensate for interviews you’ve got missed like our dialog with Quinta Brunson, creator and star of the collection “Abbott Elementary,” or with journalist Erich Schwartzel about how Hollywood studios are tailoring their movies to keep away from offending the federal government of China to allow them to faucet the Chinese language market, take a look at our podcast. You will discover numerous FRESH AIR interviews.

(SOUNDBITE OF STEVE REICH’S “VARIATIONS FOR VIBES, PIANOS, AND STRINGS: SLOW”)

DAVIES: FRESH AIR’s government producer is Danny Miller. Our technical director and engineer is Audrey Bentham with extra engineering assist from Adam Staniszewski. Our interviews and opinions are produced and edited by Amy Salit, Phyllis Myers, Roberta Shorrock, Sam Briger, Lauren Krenzel, Heidi Saman, Therese Madden, Ann Marie Baldonado, Seth Kelley, Kayla Lattimore and Joel Wolfram. Our digital media producer is Molly Seavy-Nesper. Thea Chaloner directed in the present day’s present. For Terry Gross, I am Dave Davies.

(SOUNDBITE OF STEVE REICH’S “VARIATIONS FOR VIBES, PIANOS, AND STRINGS: SLOW”)

Copyright © 2022 NPR. All rights reserved. Go to our web site phrases of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for additional info.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This textual content will not be in its last type and could also be up to date or revised sooner or later. Accuracy and availability might differ. The authoritative report of NPR’s programming is the audio report.