Ukrainians Share How They First Heard About The Russian Invasion And Their Reaction
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Believe it or not, many Ukrainians were not entirely convinced that Russia would invade their country, even in the days and weeks before it finally happened.

The war in Ukraine, which kicked off when Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his forces to invade the country on February 24, has created the largest humanitarian and refugee crisis Europe has seen in decades.

Ukrainians both inside and outside the country have had their lives significantly upended. The day Russia invaded weighs heavy on their hearts.

They shared some of their memories and thoughts after Redditor BJJJJIIIIII asked the online community:

"Ukrainians of Reddit, how did you find out that the war had begun? What were your first thoughts?"

"Well, my girlfriend's friend..."

"Well, my girlfriend's friend called her at 7 a.m. and said, “Wake up, war began” and also we started to hear alarms around the city. Pretty nervous feeling."


I hope everything is good for you. Much much love.

"My brother called me..."

"My brother called me at 6:10 a,m. and told me that the war started and that i should get out of Kyiv ASAP.."


But did you? Hopefully you are well and safe, wherever you are.

"Mom ran into my room..."

"Mom ran into my room at 5 a.m. screaming. I woke up, the sky was red (still can’t recall if it was just dawn or not) and I heard missiles or probably fighter planes. Thankfully, nothing hit our area."


That is indeed a horrifying way to start the morning. Hopefully you are still safe.

"We can do nothing but watch the news."

"Not me directly, but my husband is Ukrainian and lives in the states with me. His family is still there. He spent the first several days not sleeping, trying to coordinate safety for his family, reaching out to anyone and everyone."

"I reached out to some members of my church over in Ukraine and Poland to see if we could get some help, because that's all we could think of, was his family. Most of them are out of Ukraine and waiting to be able to come to the states."

"In the beginning though when his family was still at home, my husband managed to reach out to some old buddies from his unit when he was serving in the Ukrainian army. They were supposed to go to meet his family and get them out, or at least stay and make sure they are okay."

"His buddies took a direct hit from a shelling and never made it. As of today, his town is under Russian control and everything from his childhood is gone."

"We can do nothing but watch the news, and I know its killing him. F*ck this war."


This is heartbreaking. I am so sorry.

"Woke up..."

"Woke up at 5 a.m. because of explosion near my house and started to buy food for stocking. Nothing really surprising, I was mostly ready for such a situation."


Sounds like you got yourself into gear pretty quickly. Stay safe out there.

"I woke up to my phone..."

"I live in Sweden. I woke up to my phone blowing up with notifications about how Ukraine is getting invaded. My only thought was is my family okay? Are they safe? What are they gonna do? Can they leave and if yes, will they?"


Hopefully they are safe, even if they haven't been able to leave yet. Dealing with that knowledge must be so difficult.

"I was in disbelief..."

"I was in disbelief and still am. Many people are in denial to this day."


Many of us genuinely have no idea if we would react to a world-changing incident like this by spending everyday in unresponsive, zombie-walking shock...or cowering and armadilloing in a locked room everyday the moment we wake up.

"I am not a Ukrainian..."

"I am not a Ukrainian but at the time I was living In Kharkiv (I am from Finland). Nobody believed it was so until I woke up to the sound of gun shooting and bombs exploding. I now live in the UK."


Here's hoping you're settling in alright and are warm and comfortable!

"On the 24th..."

"In the weeks leading up to the war, I used to randomly wake up in the night and check the news every time. On the 24th, I had my first war-related nightmare about panicked people running en masse. Woke up at 5:40 a.m., decided to check the news once again, and there it was. Heard explosions in the distance 20 minutes later."


This is so matter-of-fact and so terrifying. Hopefully you are safe, wherever you are.

"I woke up in a car..."

"I woke up in a car driving to Poland. Few weeks later I’m in Canada."


Welcome to Canada! Glad you've made it safe and sound.

The impact of the war in Ukraine will be felt for years to come and even if the war officially winds down, there is bound to be sporadic fighting in isolated regions for some time after that.

It's safe to say that we will continue to hear about this conflict for a significant amount of time and that the world, as we know it, has changed.

Have some stories of your own? Feel free to tell us more in the comments below.

Have some thoughts of your own? Tell us more in the comments below!

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