"It was hellish": Man details journey on foot to flee Ukraine invasion

Feb 25 2022, 5:36 pm

A US man documented his 20-hour walk from Ukraine to Poland after Russia attacked Thursday, revealing some of the panicked moments of war.

Manny Marotta is a freelance journalist that was based in Ukraine who was forced to flee, along with countless other Ukrainians, due to Russia invading the country.

Marotta detailed his journey undertaken in the middle of winter with thousands of refugees in a series of tweets.

“Vehicles were backed up for 25 kilometers, many out of gas. Several were abandoned as their occupants fled west on foot as fast as possible,” Marotta said, posting photos of a lineup of cars and people walking alongside them.

He saw heartbreaking moments of families being torn apart in front of him, with the Ukrainian government yesterday saying it would not allow any men aged 18-60 to leave the country.

When Marotta finally made it to the Polish border, he called the journey to it “the longest and worst night of my life.” He was greeted by a welcome committee with tea and a cotton candy sunrise.

“I feel that it was a welcome gift from nature,” he tweeted. “I’m so inconsolably happy to be in the EU.”

Marotta’s tweets have gained massive attention, garnering more than 200,000 likes.

Russian President Vladimir Putin launched the full-scale attack on its neighbouring Eastern European country early Thursday.

Civilians took shelter from explosions in subway stations and evacuated their cities if they could. The invasion is a culmination of years of geopolitical conflict between the countries.

Canada has responded with further economic sanctions and has promised to prioritize Ukrainian immigration applications.

Anti-war protests have erupted across Eastern Europe and Canada.

Laine MitchellLaine Mitchell

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