For hours, no one heard anything.
“I never would have thought that my son would see war,” Sasha said that day.
The family’s story is not extraordinary by the measure of the last four months. The Stanislavchuks are like many Ukrainians these days, decent people struggling to endure the unfathomable with no map to guide them. We had been introduced by friends whom Yehor and I have in common. I had been covering the war since it erupted, and when I arrived in Mykolaiv in early March to write about a Ukrainian counteroffensive there, the family adopted me, giving me the first warm meal I’d had in weeks.
Better Understand the Russia-Ukraine War
When the war began, they had been in Bucha, less than an hour from Kyiv, putting the finishing touches on a new showroom for their interior design business. Their main store in Mykolaiv had been doing well, and the family hoped to expand. Yehor had moved to Bucha shortly after college and the family fell in love with the town’s pine forests and colorful modern buildings that made it look as if it could be a suburb of Oslo.