Letters From Chernihiv – Russia Makes Refugees Of Ukraine Civilians In Their Own Country – Part 4

About Russia Makes Refugees Of Ukraine Civilians In Their Own Country – I work with a small company in Ukraine that has conducted some IT development work for me from time to time. Unfortunately, since the start of the Russian war against Ukraine, I lost touch with my primary contact, whose name is Artem. However, we reconnected, and I asked if he could offer some thoughts on his experience of the war as his town was being overrun by the Russian army.

This is his account of the early days of the Russian war against civilians in Ukraine. It’s a gripping account of the initial days of the war in a town north of Ukraine’s capital called Chernihiv. Some parts are graphic and emotional. It was translated from Russian. This is Artem’s final report

Finding Shelter As A Refugee In Your Own Country

I’ll add a story or drama about finding a place to live. Every time we called about housing, all people wanted to receive an advance payment to ensure we would arrive. So although we were aware that this is a hoax, people are very often defrauded in this way.

We found an advertisement with a suitable option for our housing. A person confidently told us that he was waiting for us, said the address, and said to us that the previous tenants should leave today and that he would wait for us, but if we sent him a credit card prepayment. So we decided to believe this person and transferred the prepayment to 30% of the monthly housing payment. After, we started collecting our things and looking for this new house. Finally, we arrived at the place after traveling at approximately 200Km. We started calling this man, but the phone was disabled.

We were just outraged by this situation and the fact that in such people’s time is just thrown at money, on a level place. Such people need to be shot for what they are trying to cash in on people in trouble. It seems that in western Ukraine, the war did not come to them and their families. Thus, they don’t care about what happens to their fellow countrymen. 

Searching For Shelter in the Depths of Winter

We no longer had the strength to come back at night. So we traveled around the city and searched for where we stay to spend the night. Finally, we were received in the house of prayer. We were there with 500 people looking for shelter. 

After several nights, we cooperated with another family from Chernihiv. They offered us a house option. So we gathered and went to check it out.

Russia Makes Refugees Of Ukraine Civilians In Their Own Country - Apartment

A man who rents us a house turned out to be complete a bastard and a liar. He also tried to cash in on our grief.

Russia Makes Refugees Of Ukraine Civilians In Their Own Country - Apartment

Having promised good conditions and the fact that he will do to change seats, this is the horror that happens in the country.

Russia Makes Refugees Of Ukraine Civilians In Their Own Country - Apartment

These are the photos of the conditions we live in now. The price per given room is $1000 per month. Is this not bullying?

Russia Makes Refugees Of Ukraine Civilians In Their Own Country - Apartment
Russia Makes Refugees Of Ukraine Civilians In Their Own Country - Apartment
Russia Makes Refugees Of Ukraine Civilians In Their Own Country - Apartment

Photos of the house where we are now…

The house is just cold, there is no heating, there is a stove that is heated by wood, and it is not enough to heat the whole home, only the hallway, and the kitchen. There is only one burner on the stove for cooking. We sleep dressed in jackets. Everyone has already been ill several times. But we just have nowhere to go.

Checking with My Mother Near Chernihiv

Russia Makes Refugees Of Ukraine Civilians In Their Own Country - Devastation in Chernihiv
Devastation in Chernihiv

After living here for several days, I constantly tried to call my mother, apprehensive about her and insisted that I needed to leave the city. Finally, she simply shared the facts she had experienced while trapped in the city.

The city simply began to be surrounded by all sides, and a humanitarian catastrophe began—no gas, electricity, or water for more than a week. The food in the shops is gone. The humanitarian aid that was delivered was stolen or sold to the Russians.

After we left, the terrible shelling of the city began. As a result, my mother did not leave the basement for two weeks. At the school where we were taking shelter, a shell flew in. Mom miraculously survived. All the structure windows flew out, everything shattered in different directions, and the fence surrounding the school was knocked down.

The Russian invaders also used communication jammers. It was simply impossible to get through. There was no connection with my mother for a week, there were a couple of attempts to contact her, but they all failed. I read the news and was very worried about her. Since the information, every day was getting worse and worse. Many civilians who simply stood in line for water and food were killed by artillery shells indiscriminately flying into the city. A lot of shells flew into our area. I read, looked for photos, and hoped that my mother was not there.

Caskets For Civilians in Chernihiv

The photo was taken near the morgue of people who suffered from shelling in the city of Chernihiv.

Also, on that day, one US citizen died in Chernihiv, who was married to a Ukrainian woman, who was in a lying state, and he could not leave her.

Passport of James Whitney
Passport of James Whitney – Source Unknown

Ed Note: The Washington Post confirmed that James Whitney Hill, 68, was killed Thursday, March 17th while trying to obtain food for himself, his partner, and other very ill patients at Chernihiv Regional Hospital in the northern Ukrainian city of Chernihiv.

I hoped that this would not happen again; well, it could not be that the second time it hit the same place.

But it was not over yet; a few days later, when I was reading the news, a second shell flew into the school where my mother was taking shelter. This blast caused a fire in the school. The people who were there all survived.

Mom finally got in touch, and she told me a story about how she ran away from shells that flew close to her, she fell and was wounded, but she still managed to hide and run to the shelter.

Artems Parents Finally Leave Chernihiv

She cried and said, “Son, when will this all end?” I insisted that they pack their things and leave the city. The city became dead. There was no light anywhere, and people just couldn’t take a shower for 20 days. They survived with dry food.

And yet, they decided and leave the city, but their journey was not long. Finally, they were able to go only 40 km from the city of Chernihiv. They stopped because they could not travel any farther – Russian fascists occupied the territory.

They were able to sit for several days, after which the “Russian world” got there …

I constantly kept in touch with her. We called up every hour while they were trying to leave the city of Nizhyn. But still, they managed to escape to a safe place, and find housing, and all hell for her, I hope, has already ended.

This Story Needs to Be Told

I want the whole world to know and hear about what is happening in Ukraine, especially about the city of Chernihiv, about which everyone is constantly silent, about how innocent people are simply killed. We simply did not deserve it. We lived quietly, built houses, made property, and these creatures came, destroyed homes, stole people’s property, raped women, and killed children. They bring stolen things to their wives and talk about how rich people live in Ukraine. There is no forgiveness for these creatures, and I would send everyone to death for all the crimes they have done here, at our HOUSE!

Glory to Ukraine!


Support This Series Letters From Chernihiv With Your Donation

This will fund two young people who are refugees in their own country. Katya and Artem are offering us stories about the War in Ukraine for Thumbwind. We are paying them for their accounts of the war and the horrors they experience. They will use the funds to pay for living costs as refugees in their own country as they are displaced from their hometown of Chernihiv, which was occupied by the Russian Federation Armed Forces.

Related Reading

The War Near Kyiv, Ukraine – Letters From Chernihiv – A Personal Account Of Russian’s War – Against Civilians – This is a personal account of the war in Ukraine by Katya. It’s a gripping chronology of the initial days of the war in a town north of Ukraine’s capital Kyiv called Chernihiv. Some parts are graphic and emotional.

Chernihiv Fire

6 Photos From Chernihiv – More Personal Ukraine War Accounts From North Of Kyiv – This is the second part of a series of stories written by a young Ukrainian couple who has managed to submit accounts of their personal experiences of the war with Russia. This is an account by Katya, a recent college graduate living in a town north of Ukraine’s capital called Chernihiv.

War Near Kyiv

Letters From Chernihiv – The Russian War Against Ukraine Civilians – Part 3 – This is the third in the Letters From Chernihiv series. It details the experience of the Russian war against Ukraine civilians. Artem and Katya flee to Kyiv.

About the Authors

Artem is from Chernihiv. He is an IT and marketing specialist. Katya graduated from Taras Shevchenko University with degrees in elementary education and art. Before the war, she worked as a barista in a cozy coffee shop in the center of Chernihiv.

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