Kristina, a 32-year-old mother from the separatist-held area of eastern Ukraine, recently evacuated her home with two children to head to Russia.
They’re now staying in a hotel 60 kilometres away from Rostov-on-Don where local authorities are housing 39 people who have left eastern Ukraine in the last four days.
“Naturally, we are all anxious, all on our nerves, we want to cry, but it doesn’t work, because they are small children,” she said.
“What’s next – we absolutely do not know anything, they said, sit, wait. What to expect – we do not know, we want to go home.”
Ovsyannikova Irina Petrovna packed up her bags in just 15 minutes and now lives in the same hotel with her 9-year-old grandson Vladislavhe.
“We had hostilities for two days. It was very scary, the windows were shaking, everything was terrifying, we were very worried about the child, but it was useless, and now we think we will return home soon. We don’t want to be here,” said Ovsyannikova Irina Petrovna.
“We are fine here, but we want to go home. We have been waiting for eight years. Because of this, our guys died, so that Russia would finally recognise us. For us to be Russians because there is no turning back.”
These evacuees support Vladimir Putin’s decision to recognise the self-proclaimed republics as independent, but they don’t know what happens next or when they’ll be able to go home.