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The student news site of Inglemoor High School

Nordic News

The student news site of Inglemoor High School

Nordic News

The student news site of Inglemoor High School

Nordic News

Student Narrative: Anna Oleynikova


It all started on 2022, Feb. 24. I woke up to strong explosions at 5 a.m. when Russian troops invaded Ukraine. My family was afraid of the incessant “hails,” which is a multiple-launch rocket system of 122 mm caliber. On this day, my family and I lost the place where we lived for most of our lives. On the very first day, we left the city of Kharkiv, which is located next to the Russian border. Russian troops began driving tanks into the city to shoot, rape and mock the Ukrainian people.

My family and I left with the thought that we might never return home. It was scary, incomprehensible, sad, and at the same time, no one knew what would happen to us, whether we would survive or not. My dad decided that it was necessary to leave the country, since it was unsafe to be there, and we had no future in our native country. Every time we moved from city to city by car in Ukraine, we did not understand whether we would be able to get there or whether we would survive. More than once we passed somewhere where the Russian army literally shot at civilian cars and attacked civilians with the aim to mock and kill. After I found myself outside of Ukraine, my family and I traveled from country to country, hoping to find asylum.

My mom and I stayed in Austria for two months before coming to America. We were thinking about how our lives would develop further, what we would do and how to generally accept the idea that everything that you had, you no longer have and perhaps never will have again. I had the opportunity to come here thanks to my dad’s brother, who has been living in America for about 20 years.

On April 20, 2022, I flew to America with my mother. We settled with our relatives and began to think about how I could get to school and generally improve my life. I faced various difficulties — namely, the language barrier, the obvious lack of clothes and other material things and the lack of social communication.

I think the most difficult thing was that the war left a deep mark on me because I could have died more than once, and I am grateful that my family simply survived. People living in America, especially teenagers, hardly understand how lucky they are that they live in a safe country, they have a home, friends, family, and this is enough to be happy. I and other Ukrainians who suffered from the war did not know whether we and our parents would survive. When I was in one of the cities in Ukraine, after we left the city of Kharkiv, the house in which we lived was shaken every day by strong explosions, which created countless sleepless nights. Then marauders be- gan to appear, who were ready to kill just to stay alive, numerous Russian troops who could simply break into a house with the aim of raping and killing simply because they “can.” Now this has led to the fact that living here in America, after more than a year, I am afraid of fireworks.

Any situation like this, like war, deprives you for the most part of everything that you have valued for decades; your life is literally divided into “before” and “after.” Absolutely everything starts over.

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About the Contributor
Anna Oleynikova (she/her)
Junior Anna Oleynikova is in her first year on the Nordic News staff. She moved from Ukraine to the US about one and a half years ago and already joined the friendly and close-knit team here. Outside of school, Anna spends most of her time improving her language skills, reading, drawing and listening to motivational podcasts. She looks forward to developing her writing abilities, learning more about how things in school work, making new friends and starting to create interesting articles that will inform and delight students!

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