Dragging Suitcases, Ukrainians Trek to Safety in Hungary


Two Ukrainians fleeing a Russian invasion stood within the chilly with their baggage on the Hungarian border on Thursday, ready for relations residing in Hungary to reach and take them to security. Csaba Bodnar, 27, and his youthful brother Tamas, each from the massive ethnic Hungarian minority in western Ukraine, woke to the information of the invasion and set off instantly, fearing conscription into Ukraine’s army.

“No one wants to get conscripted, no one wants to die,” mentioned Tamas. “It’s clear that those who can, they flee.” The pair have been amongst small teams of individuals leaving Ukraine on the Beregsurany crossing into Hungary, some coming from so far as the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, greater than 800 km (497 miles) to the east, after Russia invaded.

The brothers had deliberate to begin work in Hungary from subsequent week within the city of Komarom close to the Slovakian border, however the assault accelerated their plans.

People flee from Ukraine on the Hungarian-Ukrainian border after Russian President Vladimir Putin licensed a army operation, in Beregsurany, Hungary, February 24, 2022. REUTERS/Bernadett Szabo

Tamas had labored as a driver along with his brother within the Ukrainian city of Berehove/Beregszasz.

Some folks could possibly be seen coming into Hungary by automotive, however many got here on foot, dragging suitcases over the frontier by hand.

People flee from Ukraine on the Hungarian-Ukrainian border after Russian President Vladimir Putin licensed a army operation, in Beregsurany, Hungary, February 24, 2022. REUTERS/Bernadett Szabo

The new arrivals in Hungary gathered at a small kiosk only a few hundred meters from the border, discussing plans and warming their fingers within the chilly.

A girl in her 40s carrying a winter jacket stood by the street together with her 15-year-old son and only one giant bag. She mentioned she had introduced her son as she feared he could possibly be conscripted into the military if authorities lowered the age restrict.

“I am afraid they will take my son,” she mentioned.

The girl, from Ukraine’s ethnic Hungarian minority, works as a pastor in a close-by village, which she didn’t need to establish. She declined to provide her title as she mentioned she had to return, not wanting to depart her parish behind. She mentioned relations residing in Hungary would come and accumulate the boy.

‘I AM SCARED’

A pair, Dmitry and Ksenia, each 23, left Kyiv late on Wednesday night time by automotive. They crossed on foot into Hungary and plan to take a practice to Germany the place Dmitry’s sister lives. Dmitry says he’s not fleeing conscription as he has coronary heart issues and so could be unsuitable for military service.

“I’m very nervous for my mom, she couldn’t but make it (out of Kyiv),” he provides.

A woman hugs her son after crossing the Hungarian-Ukrainian border, after Russian President Vladimir Putin authorized a military operation, in Beregsurany, Hungary, February 24, 2022. REUTERS/Bernadett Szabo

Tens of thousands of Ukrainians, many of them ethnic Hungarians, have worked in Hungary for years as wages are higher in Hungary. Among them is Eva, in her 40s, who works in the kiosk where those leaving Ukraine gathered on Thursday.

She told Reuters she had sent her two boys to the Czech Republic and her partner to Slovakia, afraid that they could be conscripted into the army.

“I am scared, I fear for my family … for the men to be taken away into the army. I am a mother, how is it that I would have to send my child to die?” she mentioned.

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