The man, who is set to go back and fight for Ukraine, promised his wife that "everything will be OK with our boys. And we hug."
Trigger Warning: This story contains details of the Ukrainian crisis that may be disturbing to readers.
With Russian military forces descending into Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, people are fleeing their homes in search of safety. While many have succeeded, men between the age of 18-60 have been banned from leaving the borders of Ukraine so they can fight for their country.
Like several other families in the war-stricken country, a pediatrician, who is also a father of two small sons, drove his family to safety. He planned to then go back and fight, according to TODAY.
Dr. Y—whose name has been withheld to protect his safety and the safety of his family—has been a pediatrician in Kyiv, Ukraine, for more than 15 years. The father of two boys, ages 5 and almost 1, fled Kyiv with his wife and children. Dr. Y drove them to a safer location in the west of Ukraine before planning to return to work, he said, so he could fight Russian soldiers.
The experience was an eye-opener for the man, who said that "Traffic is horrible — like any apocalyptic movie." He first made the statement via a call and then through WhatsApp, explaining that internet services have been shut down in the region, per Reuters.
Ukrainian father gives his son Batman toy and a message: 'Be brave' https://t.co/16uitob2RT— TODAY with Hoda & Jenna (@HodaAndJenna) February 28, 2022
"Three hours of driving (using) different streets to leave Kyiv and get to a highway. Lots of cars with kids; pets (being taken) away from big cities; long lines to petrol stations; lots of Ukrainian military cars and troops going into Kyiv."
He also added that he and his family lived a life that was "peaceful and full of plans" before Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered Russian troops to invade Ukraine. "We bought a bee costume for my son, Lucas, for his Spring holiday in his kindergarten," he added. "It was planned for March 3, ."
The family had to leave everything behind, including the bee costume, before fleeing their home in their family's car with only one emergency bag and "one favorite Batman toy, to be brave."
"My wife and I have talked to (our children), trying to explain and prepare them earlier," Dr. Y said. "We used my son Lucas's favorite superhero, Batman, as an example to be brave and fast. (We have) asked Lucas to help with our younger son. We also trained him to be fast and calm, (telling him that) our army will take care of us and protect us."
Dr. Y shared that it took him 40 hours to drive his family to safety. He will spend a day or two with them, then go back and fight, saying that he has promised his wife "that everything will be OK with our boys. And we hug."
"(My children) are under stress because of the night explosions, and staying in bomb shelters for hours," he explained. "Our biggest fear is to lose friends, relatives, children in every city in Ukraine," he added. "We don't want any war — we don't need Russian 'help.' Our biggest hope is to celebrate our son's first birthday on March 19, at home with no explosions in peaceful Kyiv."
BREAKING: Russian airstrike hits Kharkiv government headquarters in eastern Ukraine pic.twitter.com/cB8aKvkGL9— BNO News (@BNONews) March 1, 2022
Russia's invasion of Ukraine is a developing story, and we’ll update as we learn more. Information is swiftly changing and WomenWorking is committed to providing the most recent and verified updates in our articles and reportage. However, considering the frequency in developments, some of the information/data in this article may have changed since the time of publication.
Representative Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Omar Marques / Stringer