Ukrainians demand not to be forgotten two years after the start of the war

Two years after that early morning of February 24, 2022, when sirens and explosions sounded for the first time in many of their cities, Ukrainians have had to adapt to a reality in which the need to continue living with a certain normality He encounters death and tragedy every day.

UNHCR estimates that more than 8 million refugees have fled to Europe during these two years. In this time, Spain has processed nearly 200,000 temporary asylum protections: especially in the Valencian Community, Catalonia, Andalusia and Madrid, and 62% for women who have come alone or with their children because their husbands continue in the camp. battle. This is the case of Oksana, a refugee who lives in Barcelona and who, thanks to the Preply method, speaks perfect Spanish. For Oksana, this platform of private language teachers has been a springboard for employment.

Oksana admits that she was forced to start her life from scratch. “I’m hopeful, but I think it’s like a marathon, not a sprint. I hope all this ends soon.” “Now my life is divided into two countries, I try to live a normal life in Barcelona. But there is always a part of me that thinks about my family and my friends.” She tells us that she spent a month at the Lviv train station helping women flee Ukraine with her children. Two years later, she is working in Spain and understands Spanish perfectly. “I am a foreigner, yes, but I don’t feel like a refugee,” concludes the Ukrainian.

Most Ukrainian families live separately and it is very difficult to find someone who has not lost a loved one in the war. They left their country thinking they would return in a few months, and today many Ukrainian refugees do not dare to set a date for the end of the war.

Yana fled Ukraine when the war broke out and since then her father, who is a soldier, has remained missing. Today he lives in Spain, but his heart is in his country. “When I arrived in my parents’ city we found the shelters and hid, it was quite difficult.” The young Ukrainian follows the news from her country from a distance and she does not lose hope of reuniting her family.

The focus: the mental health of Ukrainians

Organizations such as the Red Cross warn that the other conflict for Ukrainians is their mental health. Under the motto “For inner peace: mental health, the other conflict of Ukrainian people”the Red Cross has launched a campaign to raise awareness throughout the world about the deep psychological wounds of the Ukrainian people.

The WHO estimates that one in four Ukrainians could develop mental disorders. The prevalence of post-traumatic stress is estimated at more than 30% among displaced adults and around 22% among minors.

ACN Spain (Aid to the Church in Need) denounces that the Church of Ukraine is completely overwhelmed to care for a traumatized population: with anxiety, stress, fear, insomnia and uncertainty due to not knowing where their loved ones are. Psychological wounds are emerging in the Ukrainian people, who feel beaten and in many cases forgotten.

Father Mateusz Adamski, parish priest of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Kiev, recognizes that the population is under constant stress, that they have had to get used to war at a forced pace and that the Ukrainian Church is carrying out psychological and key spiritual two years after the conflict. “I have become accustomed to war, sometimes missiles pass by my window at night and I stare with the rosary in hand,” he says. Father Mateusz confesses to us that he prays for the oppressors, so that they “can also find true love and peace.” “We have to prepare to combat the traumas, which are already noticeable, and the suffering of the people,” adds the religious. And he laments that Ukraine is becoming a forgotten conflict.

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