What do Refugees Take With Them? Fleeing Ukrainians Hold Onto Prized Possessions

Tags: Currents Family, Media, Ukraine, War, World News

Currents News Staff

Life changed in an instant for these families as they were forced to flee their homes as Russian troops invaded. But what do you take with you as you run for safety?

For 11-year old Victoria, it is her beloved teddy bear. Although she outgrew him, he is just the right size for her little sister Valeria.

“It is for Valeria,” said Victoria. “It is her favorite toy… It was mine and now it’s hers. When she is crying a lot, she cuddles him at night.

Tetiana packed as the sound of explosions grew closer and closer to her family’s home in Kyiv.

“When I was gathering my stuff, I knew that I needed to take this,” Tetiana said. “It is the only album with my dad’s pictures in it.”

Her father died when she was six, but pictures of his smile bring comfort.

“I knew the photo album would make me feel calmer,” Tetiana said.

As for 7-year-old Milani, she rushes to grab her favorite thing. It’s easy to see why she loves it.

“Because there are animals in it, and dogs and you can count, here is six, here is four,” Milani said.

Denise was given 10 minutes to leave his university dorm, but he knew what to grab.

“My sunglasses! I adore them!” said Denise. “They make me look cool like Kurt Cobain.”

He said it brings him a sense of calm.

“It makes me feel like everything is going to be fine,” Denise said. “That we will win, and I will walk on the streets of Kyiv under a peaceful sky again.”

The refugee crisis in Ukraine is on course to reach the levels of displacement that followed the war in Syria that drove out 13 million Syrians out of their homes.