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Yaroslav, 19, is a young man from Odessa who fled to the Republic of Moldova at the beginning of March 2022, together with his family. He is passionate about music, computers and accounting. The young musician has had an atypical development and multiple forms of disability, and the bombing and stress caused by the war has dramatically undermined his health. Before the war, thanks to therapy, Yaroslav was able to walk on his own, with a little help. Now, he uses a wheelchair again.
Since the start of the war in Ukraine, Moldova and Poland have received the highest number of refugees. As of 22 April, about 91 thousand Ukrainian refugees are residing across the different regions of Moldova. UN Women has been working with partners to gather, analyse and disseminate data to illustrate the differential and disproportionate impacts of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on women and girls.
On 24 February, Natalia, Irina and Cristina, three friends and mothers from Odessa, woke up to the sound of air raid sirens and explosions. Russia’s military offensive had begun. "Stress, danger and traffic jams, especially near military units... It was awful to see bags full of sand at checkpoints, tanks. I don't even remember the whole way to Moldova because I was very panicked," says Cristina, 41, who left Ukraine with her 18 and 3.5-year-old daughters. "After crossing the border, volunteers helped us with food and transportation. We are very grateful to the Moldovans,” says Cristina.