Prams left behind at an airport
twitter | @MalavoltaF

Heartbreaking Viral Pic Shows How Polish Moms Are Helping Ukrainian Families Flee

Dan
March 7, 2022

Russia's invasion of Ukraine has prompted a humanitarian response, with dozens of nations and their citizens finding ways to chip in and help however they can, like renting Airbnbs with no intention of staying there, just to get much needed cash into people's hands as directly as possible.

Meanwhile, nations surrounding the conflict have stepped up in particular, as scores of Ukrainians flee Kyiv and other cities in an effort to escape the fighting.

A photo circulating on Twitter demonstrates, in one frame, one community's willingness to help.

The fighting continues across Ukraine.

Russia has encountered stiff opposition from the Ukrainian military, and both sides appear to be digging in for a lengthy, drawn-out conflict. Ukraine has also seen an influx of foreign volunteers stepping in to join their fight.

As the foreigners come in, citizens have been fleeing the country.

Ukrainian protesters
Unsplash | Yohan Marion

Estimates vary, but some sources say close to a million Ukrainians have fled the country into Poland to the west.

According to the Daily Mail, 129,000 Ukrainians crossed into Poland in just one day, bringing their total up to 922,400.

A photo taken at a Polish train station has gone viral.

A map showing Poland and Ukraine
Google | Maps

The image was captured at the Przemyśl train station, just across the border from Ukraine and about 60 miles from Lviv, the largest city in western Ukraine.

Here's the tweet.

The photo, captured and posted by Italian photojournalist Francesco Malvolta, shows a line of strollers or prams outside the station. In English, his tweet reads, "Strollers left at the station for women arriving from Ukraine with babies."

The reason for the image is heartbreaking, as Ukrainians are forced to flee their homeland. But the sentiment behind it is beautiful.

Poland is opening its arms to Ukraine.

A Polish flag
Unsplash | Nemesia Production

While countries around the world have pledged to welcome any Ukrainian refugees who may come their way, Poland is right next door to the conflict and already seeing a steady stream of Ukrainians entering the country.

Putting the strollers outside the rail station is a symbol of Poland welcoming the mothers and children of Ukraine who need a safe place to go.

It sparked an immediate reaction.

Poland knows something about war and conflict, as the country has been invaded innumerable times in the past.

At a time when xenophobia runs rampant, it's refreshing to see such a gesture.

It's still heartbreaking.

Many of the refugees leaving Ukraine are mothers with children, hence the need for the strollers. It's sad to think of how many families have been ripped apart by the conflict, and how many Ukrainians are still in the country, scared, with no means to leave.

Human compassion shows no limits.

A person pushing a stroller
Unsplash | Jon Tyson

The babies who wind up occupying the strollers left at the train station will grow up in the shadow of war, most likely in a different country from where they were born. Here's hoping for a prompt end to hostilities, and a lasting peace.

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