Nigerian IT professionals Emmanuel and Sylvester said they were heartbroken to leave Kyiv, the city they have loved for the past four years. After not leaving their apartments for five days and sleeping in a bomb shelter last night, they were hoping to find a train that would take them west, where they could cross into the EU and catch a flight home.
“My mother told me she would kill me first [Putin] If I don’t leave,” Emmanuel said.
He chose to try to reach Hungary, he said after reading Reports Nigerian nationals trying to flee have been harassed by Ukrainian police and border guards, and Polish authorities are denying entry to people like them.
Nearby, a mother of two daughters, aged 10 and 5, wept on the floor of the international hall of the Molvina railway station. Together with their small terrier, Kompot, who bears the name of a homemade fruit juice popular in this part of the world, they hoped to be able to make it to Poland.
“We don’t know what to do after that,” he said. “Everything we have is here now.”
She managed to take three small bags of possessions and a dog.
“We hope to be back soon. We are will Come back soon,” she said boldly.
He said he left Georgia for Ukraine in 2008 after Russia invaded his homeland. They spent the last 14 years building a new life, only to have Putin destroy it once again.
Behind her, people were queuing at the International Room’s France Cafe, which usually serves buttery croissants and steamy cappuccinos. On Tuesday, it sold plain Lipton tea in plastic cups and slices of white bread. Around 2:30 p.m., the tea ran out, so the cafe handed out hot water to keep people warm while they waited.