As the world watches the shocking scenes from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, talent acquisition consultant Nataliia Mytch shares her experience of escaping Kyiv, what her organisation is doing to support colleagues and the wider defence effort.
On 24 February 2022, I had been sleeping. My sister called me at 6:00am and said: “Get ready, Ukraine is under fire”.
People from different towns and cities in Ukraine – including Kyiv, Kharkiv, Zhytomyr, Mariupol and Dnipro – heard the sounds of explosions at 5:00am. I was ready in 10 minutes and we left Kyiv.
My hometown is 300km from Kyiv. On our way, we saw a lot of military equipment on the roads. There were traffic jams and long queues at gas stations. Everyone was panicking. We saw a lot of dead cats and dogs on the roads. It was evident that people were in a hurry to leave.
Today is the 26th day of the war. There are many villages and towns experiencing humanitarian catastrophe – some of them are occupied by Russians. We can’t provide our people with food, water and electricity in some regions because Russia is breaking promises of a “green corridor”. In Demydiv, Kyiv region, they shelled people during their evacuation. According to the Prosecutor General’s Office, 115 children have been were killed and more than 148 injured.
The biggest dog shelter in Ukraine, Sirius, which has more than 3,000 dogs, has no food, no electricity and no gasoline.
HR’s response to the Ukraine invasion
I’m still in Ukraine, but in a relatively safe place. I hear sounds I’ve never heard during peacetime, including aircrafts and rockets. I’m afraid that my town might be the next target, but it’s my home and I don’t want to leave.
My family is close to me and I regularly communicate with my friends. Most of them are in safe places. Fortunately, we have a good connection and are able to use messaging services to keep in touch and find out what is going on.
A few of my colleagues were in the “hot places”, Kharkiv and Irpin. They’ve witnessed BM-21 Grad rocket launchers, houses being destroyed and people killed on the street.
I’m keeping in touch with my colleagues and we’re continuing to work to support the Ukrainian economy. Valtech, the company I work for, is covering the cost of apartments for our colleagues and their families in safer regions in Ukraine. Three transfers for women and children were organised from Bukovel to the Polish border, and they were supported with paid hotels upon arrival.
Our company and colleagues support each other and do our best to cheer each other up. We participated in self- defence classes and first aid training, organised by Valtech, and our kids had a lecture on how to behave during an air-raid siren.
We also support our army, with lots of us volunteering and our managing director purchasing equipment including night vision monocles, thermal vision sets, a Jeep, a pickup truck, two minibuses, more than 1,000 litres of diesel and other items that were needed for the defence effort.
My colleagues have created many fundraising initiatives that employees actively support. These include raising money for military equipment, food and clothes, underwear for the wounded, as well as working in volunteer headquarters. The company has also helped provide military equipment for employees who decided to join the territorial defense group. Valtech Global has also created a fund for the victims of war.
Recently we bought Starlink satellite internet service from SpaceX for business operations and to help volunteers. Valtech Global has supported us with this initiative. We have transferred them to Kharkiv, Chernihiv, Kyiv, Lviv, Chernivtsi and other cities.
Today we really need support from other countries and for the sky to be closed over Ukraine. Russia is continuing to use rockets and aircraft to attack us. These weapons destroy everyone and everything.