“We have spent 42 hours in cars and on buses across the border without sleeping.” Vitali relates via WhatsApp audio like this, His odyssey until reaching Spain. The Spanish-Ukrainian Volunteer War has returned to Alicante after more than 300 days. He did this through Crimea till he reached Georgia. Once there, he spent the night at the airport until he boarded a flight to Barcelona, his first stop in Spain before arriving in Alicante. There his father and mother were waiting for him, his wife and his daughter.
His family lives in the Alicante city of Santa Pola, which is from Now it will be his refuge away from Ukraine. In his homeland he devoted himself to distributing humanitarian aid until the liberation of Kherson, the city in which he lived.
“It hasn’t been easy,” he explains. “They spent more than 3 hours asking me questions, checking my phone and asking me if I had any connections with Ukrainian soldiers…”. They also asked him if he had any friends in the police. Control on the roads has been done continuously. He was detained for four hours at the last border crossing before entering Georgia. “Every 20 or 30 minutes they would stop the car and check the bags.” But luggage wasn’t the only thing they checked. They have done the same to him, if he had a tattoo. All this while, his little daughter sick, suffering from fever, inside the car.
After nine months of war, he was forced to flee. Kherson is devastated. This is the only capital that Russia managed to capture. And although he was released last November, the situation was still devastating.
Now he is in Spain, with his family, leaving behind the hell that was once his home.