May 7, 2022 | Interview Project, video

Stories from Ukraine. Olena

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We continue featuring real stories from Ukraine. I would like to introduce you to Olena. She’s 71 and she’s a retired dentist from Kyiv. Olena is my aunt.

Olena came to the west of Ukraine with her daughter Luda and two grandchildren in March. It’s when the Russians were still hoping to take Kyiv and it’s when the video was recorded.

Luda’s husband stayed back to defend Kyiv at that time. Not being an experienced driver, Luda still drove their van for two days to get to our town. Through the village roads to avoid shelling, traffic jams, and military checkpoints. The internet was too weak to let them use google maps. The entrance signs of the towns had all been taken down not to show the way to the enemy. BTW, you will not see any traffic signs with town names in this area of Ukraine today either.

Olena had never realized that it all can become part of her everyday reality. The towns she mentions in her story are in Bucha district: Nemishayeve and Mykolaivka. She also talks about Ivankiv which is further to the north of Kyiv. There’s a link to the map attached to each of the names above if you like to see where they are. 

Olena’s determined to come home to get back to her normal life. However, it is still not advised for children and women to return to Kyiv these days.

The future of many people in Ukraine is being decided right now and every Ukrainian who cares is working hard to make it possible. You can join us and help through Canadian Support Ukraine Foundation ( If you have any questions, please email CSUF president Dale Shumka.

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Hugs from Ukraine!


Andriy Dorosh

P.S.: Despite the current situation in our country and being involved in volunteer activities, the DHT team has done its best to reestablish our regular work and the possibility of doing genealogy research. We will be happy to help you find your roots.