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Fleeing From Conflict in Ukraine

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UKRAINE – Natasha's brothers heard a woman's cry for help—inspiring them to leave the safety of their shelter and venture into the open yard.

But at that moment, another bomb fell. Two of the brothers died, a third narrowly escaped with his life.

"When my brothers died, all the city, the whole town, was crying as well," Natasha said, holding back tears of her own as she related the tragic event.

With no extended family to take them in when violence erupted in their region, the family had stayed in their hometown helping others. After an onslaught of shelling, Natasha's brothers would check on their neighbors that had also remained—too old or too poor to flee—helping those whose homes had been damaged and whose windows had been shattered by the fighting. But it all changed that fateful day.

"When I found my two brothers bodies around the hole where the bomb exploded, I was really scared," Natasha said. "It changed everything."

Natasha fled with her entire family, including her two remaining brothers, her children and the three little ones now orphaned, though they had no one to take them in.

They eventually found refuge in Slovyansk, far from the fighting but never far from the tragedy this conflict has caused.

Families like theirs are living wherever they're able to find shelter—in former orphanages and even train cars—as they wait for the fighting to end.

Meanwhile, there are no jobs for them, and with no income, these families have no way to purchase food and other supplies. Children like four-year-old Nikita, Natasha's orphaned niece, are left to go hungry as they wait for the conflict to end.

Operation Blessing teams traveled to Ukraine to provide critical relief supplies to families like Natasha's who have been forced from their homes and now live as internally displaced persons (IDPs), or refugees in their own nation.

Thanks to our compassionate partners, Operation Blessing teams were able to deliver essential supplies including food, baby formula, diapers and more to families in need. At a train station where families who have taken shelter in railcars, Operation Blessing helped supply a distribution center with the supplies required to feed those in need.

Teams even traveled to Myronivka, much closer to the frontlines of the conflict, to deliver supplies to those too poor to leave their homes. These families received much-needed supplies to stock their basements-turned-bunkers, including fresh, warm bread.

The conflict in Ukraine may have no clear end in sight, but thanks to Operation Blessing partners, families in need are receiving the aid they desperately need.

You can help by making an online donation toward CBN’s Operation Blessing International’s disaster relief efforts. With your support, we can continue to provide emergency relief and recovery. Please make an online donation today.

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