N1 in Poland: How a railway station became so much more for Ukrainian refugees


These days, the railway station in Przemysl, Poland, has turned into much more than that - it is a waiting room, a kitchen, a hospital and a playroom for the numerous Ukrainian refugees waiting for trains to take them even further from the home they were forced to leave due to the Russian invasion.

It is difficult to determine the exact number of refugees, volunteers, soldiers and police officers who have been passing through the corridors of the stations throughout the past two weeks.

Among those waiting is Ljena, together with her daughter and granddaughter. They escaped Lozova, which is in the Kharkiv Oblast in eastern Ukraine.

Ljena’s home town was first attacked on February 24 at about five in the morning. It was attacked again, on March 1.

This was a sign for her that she and her family are no longer safe there.

“Lozova is very close to Izyum, also in the Kharkiv region, about 100 kilometres. There are constant battles, explosions, people are nervous, no one can sleep, eat, nothing. It's terrible, children are afraid, they cry,” she told N1.

“My cousins have stayed there for now, and here are my girls, daughter and granddaughter,” she said, as she called her granddaughter to come over.

“This is my star, Anastasia. Here, this is a microphone, this lady is a journalist,” she told the little girl, pointing to N1’s Adisa Imamovic.

Hundreds of thousands of families share the fate of Ljena and her girls at various border crossings, bus and train stations. Ukrainian mothers and children are travelling to all parts of Europe.

Ljena hopes to reach Germany, and she knows that without the help of the Polish people, things would be a lot harder.

“I want to say that everyone here helps, thank you, we bow to you, we were very afraid to leave our homes, but with this attitude, it is easier. All people help, thank you very much, we have enough to eat, drink, everything we need,” she said.

It is not only the Poles helping the refugees. There are also many who came to the country with this goal.

As buses and vans continue bringing more refugees to the railway station, a team of volunteers from Germany, dressed as cartoon characters, is trying to cheer up the children.