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The way back, a new trend on the border between Ukraine and Poland

Lviv (Ukraine), March 25 (EFE).- The Ukrainian Olga Hoidosh took four days to cross the Polish border, on foot through the Medyka crossing, with her two children and her brothers, but twenty days later she has decided to return by This same place to her home in the western city of Ternopil, where her husband stayed. “In Poland they have received us very well, but I had to return. Before the war, my husband broke both legs in a fall and he cannot walk. Also, since he is of military conscription age, he cannot leave Ukraine,” she explains to You will receive him in Lviv in Poland, where he has left his two school children in the care of a friend. A month-long Russian invasion of Ukraine has caused almost 3.7 million refugees, but some of those who crossed the border in the first weeks of the war are returning to their country, where the western part remains quiet and far from the front lines. Olga’s plan, 32 years old, is to “go back and forth” between Ukraine and Poland until the war is over: spend a few days taking care of her husband until he recovers; and others taking care of her children, 4 and 6 years old, and also of her brothers, who are adolescents and who fled with her. ROUND-TRIP TRANSFER At the Medyka crossing, 80 kilometers from Lviv, the queue to leave Ukraine accumulates around 200 people, while the queue to enter does not reach 50, but it marks a new trend, since in the first three Weeks after the invasion, only journalists and volunteers entered. “The truth is that the number of people who are returning these days has surprised me, many women. It seems that many people come to stock up and then return to help their husbands or their relatives who stayed in Ukraine,” Basel told Efe, a 30-year-old Bolivian living in Spain. Together with other Spaniards, “independent volunteers”, he has been offering food, blankets and clothes for several days to those who leave – “and now also to those who enter” – on the Polish side of Medyka, where numerous NGOs and humanitarian agencies maintain their presence . Unlike Olga, who is lightly packed, Ivanka and Natasha returned to Ukraine loaded with several bursting suitcases and bags with blankets, pillows and food, with their respective children, a total of five children between 2 and 10 years old. . Friends and neighbors of the town of Berezhany, 90 kilometers southwest of Lviv, settled in the Polish city of Tarnow when the war broke out with the uncertainty of what would happen, but now they want to return to be close to “the men of the house “We can’t go. They both took the same train as Olga to Przemysl, the closest Polish city to the border; then a bus to the Medyka pass, where they crossed on foot, and once on Ukrainian soil, they negotiated with a van to take them to Lviv, the second largest city in the country, considered its western capital. BACK TO THE FRONT It is the same journey that the 46-year-old Ukrainian Mikola Fialkovski took, who emigrated to Poland six years ago, where he worked as an electrician but now returns to Ukraine, to his native province of Mikolaiv -heavily hit by Russian bombs- , to fight on the front “for the future of my children and the children of the country”. “When the war broke out, seeing what was happening in Mikolaiv, the heavy bombardments, I felt very sorry, for my people and for the children. That’s why he decided to return,” he told Efe, recently arrived in Lviv. In addition to the refugees – mainly women and children – who are gradually returning to Ukraine, the much larger return flow is that of men who lived outside the country and who have returned as volunteers to enlist in the national army and front. fight you, an increase in the national call to arms for all men between the ages of 18 and 60. In the first month since the beginning of the war, more than 435,000 Ukrainian citizens have returned to the country, President Volodimir Zelensky announced, and the horrible main one are emigrants who now return to defend their country in the same line of fire. Sara G√≥mez Armas (c) Agencia EFE

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