»I dream of the day when my husband and I will be together again«

Olga Moisieieva’s family was torn apart by the Russo-Ukrainian war. Now, she lives with her son in Poland.

On the morning of the 24th of February, Russia launched an attack on several fronts. Olga Moisieieva was at home sleeping, in her hometown Mariupol.

Press play to watch Olgas story.

»Somewhere around 5 a.m. the phone calls and messages started. I couldn’t understand why there were so many messages. And when I woke up, I read the messages. Kyiv was bombed, Odesa was bombed.«

Olga lived with her husband and son, but she didn’t think of leaving her hometown immediately. On February 26th, the first bus was sent to Warsaw from Mariupol by the Polish NGO HumanDoc. She could have gone on that bus, but she didn’t. Even today, she is not sure why. But she knows now that it was the wrong decision.

»Then came three weeks that changed my life«.

On March 1st, a bomb fell in her yard. She realized they had to leave, but by then, it was too late.

Olga stayed in Mariupol for another two weeks, until March 15.

»We ate, we slept, I cried for a week, I was all swollen, I didn’t look like myself. Those three weeks, where we lived in Mariupol during the war, changed my life.«

Finally, on March 15, Olga and her son left Mariupol on a bus heading to Warsaw. Her husband was not allowed to cross the border, and Olga’s father was left wounded in Mariupol, but she and her son had to go.

»I opened the closet and realized that I had to pack all my life into a single suitcase. I opened my closet and just cried.«

Growing up in Mariupol
Olga Moisieieva always knew that she wanted to live in Mariupol.

»We had a really nice life. We had new parks, we had new squares, and I worked as a singer with three other girls. I also sang in an orchestra. That’s where I met my husband, 20 years ago.«

Olga’s son was 12 when they left Mariupol.

»He was a stand-up comedian, he played in a band, and he had lots of friends«, Olga remembers.

»Every summer in Mariupol, I would come home from work and spend only 10 minutes getting to the sea of Shezov, and I could swim. There are people who see the sea only in pictures, only on the Internet, but we had the real sea.«

Olga and her son arrived in Warsaw with next to nothing of their old life. Even pictures on their phones had been ordered deleted by the Russian government when they crossed the Polish border.

»I dream of the day when my husband and I will be together again. I dream of giving my son a good education. And I hope that, no matter how things pan out, one day we will be able to visit our favourite Sea of Shezov again«

Olga Moisieieva

A good life in Poland
Olga and her son were helped by the Polish NGO, HumanDoc, who offered all necessities and temporary free housing with a Polish family.

»We lived with a wonderful boy, Stephan. I am so grateful for HumanDoc’s help. I do not know what we would have done without it.«

Today, Olga’s son is active in school, and Olga herself has secured a job with HumanDoc. Every day, she helps refugees like herself find a new home in Poland.

»I try to make refugees understand that they are safe here. That they have someone to talk to about their problems. And that we are here to help«

As for Olga’s own life and future, she still dreams.

»There are moments where I am are flooded with emotions. There are times when I want to lie down and cry, but then I must stand and move. I cannot sit still and regret my past life.«