Poltava, Ukraine - 2nd March, 2022

On the seventh day of war, the residents of our regional centre, that is close to the Kharkiv region, do not feel the extent of the horrors of war.  Psychologically it is very difficult since air raid sirens are being turned on from time to time calling people to hide in bomb shelters. But for persons with disabilities, whose mobility is impared, all shelters in our city without exception are inaccessible.

Apart from that there are buildings that do not have elevators, wheelchairs users or people that recently suffered a stroke can’t even go outside. None of the people I know have even used the basements of their apartment buildings. They wait in the common areas on their floors or wait in the bathrooms of their apartments. If it is a private house, then nobody goes out of the house.

Families that live with a person with disability are hostages of this situation. They can’t leave their close ones, therefore are just staying at home with the hope that all danger will pass.

It is very difficult for people find medicines. Besides the pharmacies in our city are lacking medication for insulin dependent people, even some basic pain relief medication is a struggle to find. It is very hard to find special food for babies.

As an example, yesterday it was a great challenge to find even two cans of lactose-free formula for a small child. Barely could find any personal hygiene products.

In the village where some of my relatives live, the Ukrainian military stopped with gunfire a Russian convoy that took a wrong turn on their way to Ohtyrka. Part of the Russian soldiers came back later and were going form house to house collecting food at gunpoint. The unarmed villagers tried resisting but in return the soldiers shot warning shots in the ground in front of them and into the air, were aiming their weapons at them, even shot their pet dogs.