Untitled 2 - Natalie Keyssar
March 7, 2022. Lviv, Ukraine. “At the rail station in Lviv, the line to get on outgoing trains was in the hundreds of people huddled in the cold,” says the photographer Natalie Keyssar. “One woman, a maternity ward doctor, waited on a nearly empty platform for the train to return to Odessa to get back to work, just as shells began to hit her city.”
“In Lviv, so far Russian shells and troops are not alive, but the city is bustling with volunteers helping to support the front lines even as refugees fill the city to its seams, often joining the volunteer effort as well.”
“Women make up a powerful contingent of volunteers, weaving camouflage nets, sewing flak jackets, cooking and housing refugees, and finding every other possible way to help their people and country,” Keyssar says.
On Sunday morning, many women boarded the train from Przemysl, Poland, to Lviv Ukraine. For many of them, it was the first leg of a journey to besieged areas like Kyiv and Donetsk, where several women were racing to get back to their children. “Among them, Natalia, Oksana and Anna, heading for Kyiv, and Donetsk made friends in line and stuck together as they began a days-long journey to be close to their children as danger encircled them.”
“As an estimated 2 million people have fled Ukraine in the past 10 days since Russia invaded, each day trains, cars and buses are filled with thousands of Ukrainians fleeing across borders and to the more peaceful Western side of the country, as fighters head to the front lines. But amid these massive movements are women returning from abroad, or dropping off kids to safety and then heading back to conflicted areas, very often to be with their children or elderly relatives.”