Anja paints a sunset.

She's sitting at the painting table in the improvised children's corner in the basement of Berlin's main train station, where it's drafty and cold and smells of pea soup.

It's being handed out to Ukrainian refugees next door.

Anja is nine years old, a happy, bright, open-minded girl.

In her pink down jacket and hat with two long, plaited pigtails peeping out from under her, she looks ready to jump.

The train does not go to Spain, where a family wants to take her and her mother, until the next day.

Othmara glass

volunteer

  • Follow I follow

Philip Krohn

Editor in business, responsible for "People and Business".

  • Follow I follow

Catherine Wagner

Business correspondent for Russia and the CIS based in Moscow.

  • Follow I follow

Anja does not notice the exertion of the journey.

The long drive, the completely overcrowded train from the Polish border, the night in the cold children's corner.

She jumps happily to the volunteers when they give out new toys again, enjoys one of the muffins that someone brought over for the children.

Anja is looking forward to Spain.

There she is to live with her mother in a family with three children.

She's already learned a few words of Spanish, she says proudly.

And the family also speaks English, like their mother, who is an English teacher and wants to continue teaching her students online in Ukraine.

When the conversation turns to the war, Anja's face changes.

The smile disappears, the eyes widen.

She suddenly speaks quietly.

Tells that her brother, her father and her grandmother stayed behind.

But she often calls them: “I want to hear their voices.” Anya's hometown, Horodyshche in central Ukraine, was not shelled while she was there.

But they heard the rockets flying by and the sirens in the basement, where they spent most of their time before escaping.

Was she afraid?

Anja only says one word, she whispers it: "Very."

On February 17, a week before Russia launched its offensive war against all of Ukraine, a rocket hit the kindergarten in Stanytsia Luhanska.

Pictures show the grenade penetrating the brick wall and landing in a room with brightly colored wallpaper and full of toys.

Lucky she didn't explode.

The children who were there that morning got to safety in time.

Stanyzja Luhanska is located in eastern Ukraine, not far from the city of Luhansk, and was in Ukrainian-controlled territory at the time.

On the same day, a shell fell next to a school 100 kilometers away.

President Selenskyj commemorates dead children

At least 117 children have been killed since the beginning of the Russian war of aggression, said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Tuesday this week.

"But 117 will not be the last number," he told MPs from Italy's two chambers of parliament in one of his video chats, which enable his urgent appeals to parliamentarians around the world.

"You know who started the war, who ordered the bombing, who does the propaganda."

Keywords: