For Poles, the Ukrainian Refugee Crisis Is a Do-over

Over 2.75 million Ukrainians have fled to Poland since Russia invaded Ukraine, and have been given a warm welcome. Accompanied by photographer Michal Chelbin, our correspondent visited these crowded homes in an effort to understand what opened the Poles’ hearts

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Shany Littman
Shany Littman
Shany Littman
Shany Littman

What do you pack for the trip in the middle of the night, to an unfamiliar land and for an unknown amount of time, when you are trembling from fear and forced to quickly flee for your life from everything that you know and love? Olga Vinyk, a gynecologist, had prepared for every scenario. In early March, nine months pregnant, Olga decided to flee the Russian invasion with her 10-year-old daughter Olena from Chernihiv. The city is about 150 kilometers (93 miles) north of the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv. Everyone told her she was crazy and that it was too dangerous, but Olga, who looks fragile, was determined.

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