Russian attack Turku resident Iuliia Hannula and her five-year-old daughter traveled to Grandma’s Kharkov for a ski holiday – now they are stuck in a cottage and are afraid of the looting

Iuliia Hannula, who lives in Turku, and her daughter Avilina traveled to Grandma’s in northern Ukraine for a ski holiday. When Russia invaded Kharkov, the mother and daughter fled to a nearby village. Now Father Jouni Hannula’s means of getting the family home are limited.

Turku residents Iuliia Hannula and his five-year-old daughter Avilina are fleeing Russian attacks on a small village in northern Ukraine. Last week, their ski holidays were interrupted by the fact that Ukrainian tanks drove under a grandmother’s window in Kharkov on Thursday in the dark.

Iuliia Hannula’s parents live in an apartment building on the southern edge of Kharkov, after which only the fields open. The situation became unprotected after Russia launched its attack.

Hannula’s Ukrainian family decided to escape from the country’s second largest city, twenty kilometers away, to the village of Stara Pokrovka.

“There’s a cottage there, however, with a fireplace and a well. They are safe from the bombing of Kharkov there, ”he says Jouni Hannulathe father of the family in Turku.

In a hiding place are also Iuliia Hannula’s Ukrainian mother, father and grandfather. According to Jouni Hannula, the latest information from Tuesday is that Stara will not be able to leave Pokrovka, even though the family has a diesel car.

“If you even try to go to Kharkov, you have to stop and keep going. Ukrainian soldiers would seize the car because there is not enough fuel there, ”says Jouni Hannula.

Local residents exchange information through the messaging app Telegram. According to the information received by Jouni Hannula, the information provided by the media on the progress of the fighting is partly unreliable due to its drama.

“From the telegram, people can see what’s really going on,” says Jouni Hannula.

Return flights was purchased last Sunday. According to Jouni Hannula, the wife was called from the Foreign Ministry on Wednesday, the eve of the Russian attack. The message was a strong recommendation that it would now be worthwhile to head towards the border.

“That card came in at such a last minute that we didn’t have time to get the flights changed. We didn’t realize that the war would start so fast, ”says Jouni Hannula.

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The daughter Avilina is a Finnish citizen and Iuliia Hannula has a permanent residence permit in Finland. Jouni Hannula has submitted their passport information to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

All movement is now dangerous in Ukraine. During the bombing of Kharkov on Tuesday, according to Jouni Hannula, the grandmother’s house was hit.

Head of the Consular Affairs Unit Outi Saarikoski According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, there are still about 40 Finns in Ukraine, according to the Ministry.

Saarikoski does not take a position on individual cases but says on a general level that the situation of civilians is difficult. The fighting has spread to the city centers, and Kharkov, for example, has been bombed on Wednesday as well.

“There is a full war going on, and no humanitarian corridor has been agreed for the departure of civilians, for example,” says Saarikoski.

Before ceasefire and international negotiations, the Foreign Ministry’s chances of helping are very limited. It is difficult for the Hannulas to get out of Stara Pokrovka, not least because it is far from safe neighbors.

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Flights have run out and few trains are running.

“We are very concerned about all the Finns who are there. We are always trying to find ways to help them, ”says Saarikoski.

The getaway at Stara Pokrovka’s cottage has a fireplace that allows Iuliia Hannula and her daughter Avilina to keep the space warm.

Kharkov According to the description received by Jouni Hannula, people are sitting in the basements during the day. He says there are no shelters. The wife’s family cottage also has a yard building that the family plans to shelter in if the bombs start to hit close.

“Food is running low in the village. I’m afraid the robbery will start then, and I’ll try to figure out how to get out of there before that side comes up, ”says Hannula.

So far, the cottage has had electricity and mobile phones have been charged and kept in touch.

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