On 24th February 2022, life changed beyond recognition for millions of Ukrainians as Russian tanks and missiles entered into Ukraine for a full-scale invasion.  

In that time, thousands of lives have been lost, homes have been damaged and destroyed, and families have been torn apart by this conflict. 

As this dreadful war enters its third year, we spoke to Ukrainians affected about their experiences of living through conflict. 

Anna and Danylo 

"Survival, that’s our hope. You live here one day at a time, you can’t plan more than that.”  

Husband and wife Anna and Danylo have been together for over 15 years. They were living 100m from the frontline when war broke out. Anna, who used to be a journalist, remembers that time: 

"On the 24th of February at 3AM, all our windows and doors blew in. We experienced heavy air bombs from fighter jets, about 30 bombs were dropped around our home. We had to say goodbye to each other, we expected we would die there together. It was hell." 

They both now work as Community Liason Officers for MAG - spreading safety messages to communities in Ukraine and trying to keep people safe. 

"I have seen the destruction on the frontline, it was terrible to witness." said Danylo, who told us about how landmines make people too scared to return home. "I can only walk carefully on one path I know is clear, I never go left or right, just straight on the safe path." 

“On a car journey once, I saw a destroyed truck. The driver came towards me and he was covered in blood, he had hit a landmine. After this, I thought maybe I could do something to help, so people know where to avoid. One day I saw MAG deminers working in a field, they put signs telling people not to go in certain areas, they were saving lives. When the job came up for MAG, I applied straight away. My wife Anna applied too."   



“There is a sad joke here in Ukraine, that before we go to bed, we have to think about what pyjamas we are wearing because we might die in them.”  

Kateryna is a translator for MAG in Ukraine, supporting trainee deminers to learn their life-saving skills. 

“We’re safe here. I have friends and relatives fighting, some injured and some have died. When I found out about what MAG was doing, I applied straight away. I love MAG, we are a family here. It’s an opportunity to make a difference.   

“My hope is that we have the fastest victory as possible, and for that to happen, clearing the land is essential. The sooner we get started the better. We have heard that during the fighting, both sides have used many landmines. Some for protection, others for injuring. The land is severely contaminated.” 



Larysa is a Deputy Head Teacher at a school where our teams have been running risk education sessions for students. 

Her daughter Mariya is seven years old and attends the school.  

“Lots of the children here, their fathers are fighting. The risk education lessons for our children are invaluable. These are lessons not just for now but for life because we know that unexploded ordnance and landmines might be a problem for our country for many years.   

I know the children are going home telling their parents and grandparents about the dangers as well, so these sessions are a very good way of spreading the message right through the community.  

My daughter is seven and I sat with her while she had her risk education lesson and I was really impressed with the approach – the kids find the sessions fun and engaging but they know there is a serious message as well. As a teacher with many, many years of experience, I can see how brilliant these lessons are for our children.” 



“Despite all the loss, it reminded us of our identity. It inspired great interest in our history. The Ukrainian flag means a lot to us now.” 

Andriy is a translator for MAG from the Crimea region. Using his language skills, he supports our team to communicate safety messages to young people. He told us about what it means to know Ukraine has international support: 

“The most important thing is getting occupied land back. We can never get lives and limbs back, but we can get back land. Land that needs to be clear and safe. We are amazed by the support from people around the world. It is so touching. We are all so thankful for your support. We see Ukrainian flags in the UK and all the way in Australia.” 


Support MAG's ongoing efforts to respond to emergencies across the world today. 

Find out more about MAG's work in Ukraine here.