Olga Kirichenko, 38 years old, advertising agent

Actually, I wanted to fly to Zanzibar tonight.

Tomorrow is my birthday.

My husband and I wanted to take our daughter for a week vacation.

My husband is a lawyer, I work in an agency that offers advertising for radio formats.

Alexander Haneke

Editor in Politics.

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Konrad Schuller

Political correspondent for the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sunday newspaper in Berlin.

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I was awakened at five o'clock Thursday morning by the sound of the detonations.

The military airport Hostomel in the north of Kiev is not far from our apartment.

The sirens started shortly after.

Then came the news of the bombings.

I called my sister and my closest friend.

We immediately decided to drive off and just threw a few things in the car.

We left at 5:22 a.m.

My gym bag is still in the trunk.

On Wednesday I was still in the gym.

My husband wasn't home the morning the bombs came.

He had registered for the reserve call-up on Wednesday evening.

I actually thought he'd be right back, but then we should stay the night.

He's in Kiev now, fighting, like my sister's and my friend's husbands who escaped with me.

Only once a day do they write us a message that they are fine.

They do not want to send any more information so that the Russians cannot intercept any information.

They don't call either.

50 hours to the border

Actually, my sister, no girlfriend, and I just wanted to drive west a little, to be safe.

But in the car we realized that the Russian army is bombing the whole country.

In Lviv we wanted to take a break after many hours of driving, but when we got to the city we heard sirens again.

So we're straight ahead.

On the way we kept getting messages about where there were attacks.

That's why we didn't take the direct route.

We were on the road for a total of more than 50 hours before we crossed the border.

My sister, her two children, my daughter and I in one car, my girlfriend with her two children in the other.

My sister doesn't have a driver's license, so I had to drive all the time.

I always closed my eyes for a few minutes in traffic jams before I could continue.

Roads were congested almost everywhere along the route.

We were lucky because for some reason I always have a can of gas in the car.

I do not know why either.

Now it has helped, because you can hardly get petrol on the way.

I had a wonderful life in Kiev, friends, an apartment, a job.

Now I don't know when I can ever come back.

When we left, right after the first bombings, many of our friends said: "Now don't panic, nothing will happen to us." Some simply don't have a car and couldn't leave so quickly.

Now we get messages from them all the time.

You are in a great panic.

I was sent a picture of a block of flats directly across from our house.

The facade is shot up, there is soot and smoke everywhere.

The Russians claim they are not attacking civilian targets.

That's not true.

I hadn't spoken to my husband before about whether he would fight.

I don't know if we avoided the subject.

We just couldn't imagine something like this actually happening.

When he went to the reserve registration on Wednesday evening, we said goodbye as usual.

I thought he would be back soon.

Now he is in Kiev fighting the Russian army.

There are moments when the fear is indescribable.

And then moments when it's okay again.

Now that we've had breakfast, we have to move on.

We're driving to a friend in Poland, that's another 300 kilometers.

We'll stay there for now.

I hope that someday we can go back to our old lives.