Doctor from Nikolaev
Lilia Vitalievna
My story...
From 03.12.2022 Lilia Vitalievna Miasnikova lives in Balti. She came here from Nikolaev after Russia’s attack on Ukraine. A whole life, 41 years of medical experience, loved ones, property – everything was crossed out by the war and forced to start living from the beginning in another country.
Lilia VItalievna told us how the war changed her life and how she found her new opportunities for herself in Balti. She is a hereditary doctor. Her mother is a pediatrician and from the age 11 little Lily went with her on duty at the hospital. There she decided for herself that she will be a doctor, too. After school Lilia VItalievna entered the Odessa Medical Institute, which she finished in 1974 and then she returned to Nikolaev. She worked there as a neurologist is an emergency hospital, received the highest medical category and helped a huge amount of people. Everything changed with the start of the war.
We knew that hostilities would begin. We were warned about the danger. But no one believed. They named fates- sometimes 11, sometimes 23, but no one believed. At 5 a.m. on February 24, the bombing of Kulbakino airport began. We have a very big airport in Nikolaev, and ir all started from there. The same day, ATMs ran out of money and gas station ran out of gas. Traffics formed at. The borders very quickly and it was impossible to break through to any borders. Mainly people drove through Palanca to Moldova. It was unbearable to stay in Ukraine. Constant air raid alerts. We went down to the bomb shelters… and there were a lot of people, the rooms were not suitable – dampness, mold, fungus on the wall and only one exit, if it collapsed, it would be a mass grave. Many men drank there. There was not enough air and as soon as. The alarm ended, I ran home to the 6th floor on foot, because the elevator had not worked since the 1st day of the war. As soon as you lie down to have rest, the alarm comes again and you need to go back to the shelter. After a while I had no power to go there. It was better to leave. There were only 2-3 people in our house. All the youth went to Poland, and we decided to flee to Moldova.
From Nikolaev we were taken for free to Odesa. There they met and seated people in different directions. There were paid and free routs. We took a minibus to Chisinau, and from there by taxi to Balti. We choose your town, because we knew that there are a lot of people who speak Russian, and we were afraid of the language barrier. I came with daughter and two grandchildren. They lived in Balti couple of months and then went to Italy, now they are getting up there. The daughter knows English well and found a job online, and one of the grandchildren has already attracted the attention of local coaches as a talented athlete. And I stayed here alone. Many people left Nikolaev. A lot of them are in Moldova, because they still hope to come back home, when everything is over. Some fled to Canada and Norway, but the reviews from there are not good, and the best option is to stay in Moldova and Poland.
We were very impressed by how actively here they are helping the refugees. Even in Ukraine there was not such support- at the beginning there was no humanitarian aid or money from the UN. At the border we saw the responsiveness of the Moldovans – refugees without COVID vaccinations were allowed through and offered to receive the vaccine either there or locally in Moldova. We were lucky with housing. We found an apartment in Balti, which the owner rented to us for half the market price. We came here in winter. All the things were left there. First time the refugees were literally dressed. Some even came up on streets and asked: “ Do not you have an old coat?” Almost everyone brought out warm clothes.
Almost immediately I was offered a job when they found out that I am a doctor. Work has become a good rehabilitation for me. It can be even compared to a miracle. Now I am working as a neurologist at the “Union for Justice and Health center”, at the “MedFaktor” professional medicine clinic, and accept refugees in Zdorovii gorod. The most important in the current situation is to keep yourself doing with something, so that your brain does not constantly analyze what cannot be comprehended. Logic does not works here, only emotions and they always get in the way. Many people say that it is good that children do not see corpses and blood. When we came here, in that moment just appeared photos that children in Mariupol were dying from dehydration.
All my ideas about Moldova were from school books, that this is a sunny country where everyone dances and sings. However, it turned that living here for people is har, they should work a lot, but everybody treats us with understanding, the people are very sincere. In my opinion, there is nothing like this anywhere. I really liked Moldovan kitchen, especially placinti, with all the fillings. The fruits are very good, apricots are pure magnesium. Strawberries are tasty and sweet. I tried all the grape varieties and understood whet is kishmish. And the water here is also good. I started cooking so much, that I had enough for several days, I had never cooked before like this. And in generally I did not pay so much attention to the kitchen, I could buy ready-made food, but in Moldova it is expensive so without cooking it is hard to live.
In Balti we are trying to walk more, this helps to get rid of negative thoughts and emotions, you need to “walk” them so that they do not accumulate inside. We stopped watching TV. Those who were left without homes, - from Kharkov and Kiev, they could not watch the news and talk about war. For those who lost children and husbands is harder. The only thing that can help them is medication. I know some nurses, their children were 18-19 years old , they all died, when the state administration was blown up. Even though they go to work, they are shadows. Nothing switches them. Just a black scarf and the constant question, why she was alive?
But we read here more. There are very good bookstores in Moldova, a lot of professional literature, children’s, didactic. The most important thing for us Ukrainians is employment. I really like that in Moldova for doctors, they do a lot of seminars and take them to Chisinau, where interesting speakers from Romania, USA speak. Constantly new acquaintances and new knowledge. This j=helps to keep resources and when everything is fine, I will return back to Nikolaev.
I miss my home very much.