Escaping Donetsk Airport To Start A New Life In Odesa
20 May, 2015

"We lived in Spartak, close to Donetsk airport. We got so used to the situation that we would be eating and there would be grads landing 15-20 meters away . Every day became scarier.” Artem recounts.

When the fighting escalated Artem, together with his wife and son, left for the Crimea to stay with friends. They were there for 3 months but because Elena, his wife, was pregnant with their second child.They decided that it should be born in Ukrainian-controlled territory so that it would receive Ukrainian citizenship.

They ended up in Maiak, a town located in the Odesa region. There is a small farm with pigs, a cow, a goat and a rabbit there and the locals are planning to expand it.

“We’ll see what will happen. We have some plans for living in Maiak. Even if we can’t go home we can stay here.They are going to build some cottages and everyone will be able to choose which one they want to live in”, Artem told Hromadske.

“Our farm might be somewhere nearby. A big barn is going to be built and every resident will be able to have a part of it. For example 3 or 4 cows and the IDPs will be able to farm,” Artem said showing Hromadske the plot of land which will soon be built on.

Artem and his family have still not decided what to do next - to stay there and try and build a new life from zero or to wait it out and try to return to the Donbas.

“I’ve been here for 2 and half months. I am weighing up the situation...I’m not thinking about myself - I’m thinking about my family. What would be best for them. If you are a family man, you stop being selfish,” said Artem. “ This is a serious situation and you need to make the right decision - to leave or to stay. It’s always hard to make a decision.

// Hromadske with the support of the Thomson Foundation. Filmed in February, 2015.