Ukrainian children's stolen childhood

This is an opinion article by an external contributor. The views belong to the writer.
Ukrainian children's stolen childhood
Francesco Leone / Radauti, Suceava, Romania

The Russian invasion doesn't stop. The tug-of-war between Zelensky and Putin continues, and yet, in the history of wars, there is always a drama within another drama.

From the bombing emergency to the nuclear danger emergency to the migrant emergency. But beyond this there is much more.

One million children fleeing Ukraine in less than two weeks. These are the latest figures from Unicef, which analyses one of the terrible consequences of the conflict.

About two million refugees have entered the EU, for comparison: in 12 days the EU received the same number of refugees that the bloc received in 2015 and 2016 combined. About a million in Poland, almost half a million in Romania, 170 thousand in Hungary, 130 thousand in Slovakia.

For the youngest, this is a stolen childhood, an uncertain future. The only security is that in order to stay alive it is necessary to leave one's own country, before the Russian military bombs another city.

Many children arrive at the border alone, without family support, a real emergency. Other children have lost their families in the frantic moments of flight from their homes. Many minors are under 14 years of age and show signs of psychological distress.

From Medyka, in Poland, to Siret, in Romania: both have become the gates of salvation for the Ukrainian people. Paths to be followed in order to meet the certainty of a future in life, for themselves and their children. Many, however, once they have crossed the border, must face a new and additional challenge: waiting.

Those who cross the border of Siret, for example, and do not have the financial resources to continue, are almost certainly stopped in Radauti: a small village a few kilometers from the border where families and children are welcomed in a makeshift humanitarian center inside a gymnasium, the latter made available by the local prefecture. Stories of the border, stories of a childhood stolen from those who never deserved it.

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