It was Masouma Tajik’s birthday on Wednesday. The Afghan refugee spent the day alone, wandering the streets of Lviv, trying to make it the best day she could in her new home.
“I got a small cake, and made a wish for a home, a place where I can put up my bookshelf and grow my plants,” said Ms Tajik, who fled Afghanistan’s Herat to escape the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan in August last year.
“I was happy yesterday and this morning I woke up to bomb sirens,” she said.
Ms Tajik one of 94 Afghans brought to Ukraine during the chaotic evacuation that followed the withdrawal of the US troops. Now, a mere six months later, she is facing another conflict in her host country.
Russian forces invaded Ukraine on Thursday, days after recognising the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine as independent territories.
Over the past 48-hours, Russian troops have captured several key territories in Ukraine while launching co-ordinated air strikes and ground attacks on the capital.
The strikes and ground invasion have caused thousands to flee. Ms Tajik joined thousands of Ukrainians, in disbelief over the escalating violence, and moved from Kiev to the western city of Lviv, with the hopes of escaping yet another war.
“I didn’t think it would happen so fast here,” she said. “This is Europe.”
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