Hear My Story

Oleksandr and Davyd

“I used to try to hide Davyd’s eyes from the bodies in the street.”

Oleksandr Korotich, 67, and his 7-year-old grandson, Davyd left Mariupol as soon as the Siege of Mariupol ended in May 2022. They have lived at the Modlinska center for 15 months. The grandfather and grandson actually came to Poland via Moscow then Estonia, in a trip that took 3 days in a small bus. Oleksandr used to be an electrician at the Azovstal Iron and Steel Works (the site of the siege).

Their story:
“The 3 months we spent together in Mariupol before we escaped were horrific as we daily walked past bodies in the street in search of food. Every day, the constant air strikes killed even more people. I used to try to hide Davyd’s eyes but after a while it was impossible. There weren’t enough people left to bury them. I haven’t even tried to explain to him what is happening. How can you?”

“Russian soldiers started taking children from Mariupol to Russia and my greatest fear was that Davyd would be taken, so we left as soon as we could. Davyd’s mother (Oleksandr’s daughter) died during Covid. Before we left the city, Davyd saw his 11-year-old sister for the last time. She was deported to Siberia, along with their father. We don’t know exactly where they are.”

“We have lost everything. My apartment was on the seventh floor of a nine-story building, but now only the bottom five floors remain.”

The Future:
Oleksandr dreams one day of returning to Mariupol to put flowers on his daughter’s grave. His main concern is ensuring that Davyd gets a good education. He is a proud grandad. “Davyd plays soccer and he is already training with a team for 9-year-olds.”

An Ask For Help:
Oleksandr is worried that he has no money and he is now too old to work. He wants to find a way to support his grandson’s education, wherever it might be.