February 23, 2024

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Many Ukrainians Fleeing the War Are Bringing Their Pets


  • Quite a few of the Ukrainians who’ve fled the war have brought their animals with them.
  • Extra than a few million Ukrainians have remaining their place considering the fact that Russia invaded in late February. 
  • The refugees have introduced so quite a few pets that volunteers are featuring totally free veterinary solutions at border crossings.

PRZEMYSL, Poland — Sitting down on a coach around the Ukraine border in Przemysl, Poland, ready for it to depart en route to Berlin, Irina identified consolation in the two cats she introduced from her residence in war-torn Kharkiv.

She carried the cats in a basket on the additional than 700-mile journey. 

As 1 of the cats crawled all above Irina, she advised Insider that she experienced no want to be observed as a refugee. She’s a chef, and just needs to get the job done. Irina did not give her previous name. Like lots of Ukrainians who’ve fled the war, Irina still left family driving. Her spouse is still in Ukraine – ready to see if he’ll be drafted. She was accompanied by her two younger sons: Rostyslav, 10, and Volodymyr, 6. 

“Pray for Ukraine,” Irina explained in a information directed to the broader world. 

A Ukrainian family in Przemysl

Irina, her two sons, and their cats on a practice in Przemysl, Poland after fleeing the war in Ukraine.

John Haltiwanger/Insider

Numerous Ukrainians fleeing into nearby countries like Poland and Hungary have introduced their pets with them. Their furry buddies have also turn into refugees as a end result of Russia’s unprovoked war, signing up for their entrepreneurs on taxing and unsafe treks out of Ukraine. 

Zenaida Matsnieva fled Zaporizhzhia, the place Russia attacked Europe’s greatest nuclear plant earlier this thirty day period, with 7 household members and her dog, Moli. On the way to Lviv, in western Ukraine, their prepare was stopped since of an air raid siren — filling her household, packed into a car or truck with 250 people, with concern. Immediately after touring for in excess of a 7 days, Matsnieva and her relatives made it to a coach station in Lublin, Poland. 

A dog with his Ukrainian family

Zenaida Matsnieva of Zaporizhzhia retains her canine, Moli, in a train station in Lublin, Poland.

John Haltiwanger/Insider

A lot of refugees and their pets have confronted equivalent and hard circumstances. 

Marina, from Kyiv, fled on Saturday soon after her household was struck with a bomb fragment.

Talking to Insider from the Keleti teach station in Budapest, Marina claimed that her household traveled with a doggy, cat, and 6-thirty day period-outdated boy through Slovakia to Hungary. They will now go to Munich, Germany. Marina, who also did not give a final identify, mentioned they do not know any individual there but read that it can be welcoming to refugees.

So lots of pets have joined the a lot more than 3 million Ukrainians that have still left their region that volunteers have started featuring totally free veterinary solutions at border crossings and transit hubs in Poland. Hungarian volunteer groups aiding refugees have posted to social media inquiring individuals to donate doggy and cat crates. The EU has strongly advised member states to lift any pet-associated journey constraints for Ukrainian refugees. 

A group of Ukrainian refugees with their pets

A dog belonging to a female named Marina from Kyiv is witnessed in close proximity to a baby at a coach station in Budapest.

Haven Orecchio/Insider

A Ukrainian woman holds her dog

Victoria, from Hostomel, Ukraine, retains her puppy Stacia at a educate station in Budapest.

Haven Orecchio/Insider

Victoria, her three youngsters, and their pet Stacia still left Hostomel, Ukraine on March 3 just after bombs and gunfire erupted close by. “She’s like a child,” Victoria explained of Stacia though talking to Insider in Budapest. “She travels together with us all the time,” adding that the canine is “really naughty.”

“She started off to be naughty for the duration of the war simply because she’s touring and she’s worried,” Victoria reported. The relatives is traveling from Budapest to Portugal, where by Victoria, a instructor, hopes to locate get the job done. 

Marina Shaffit delivered translation companies in Hungary and Marta Yatsenko supplied translation providers in Poland.


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