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Man Walking to Poland Recalls Seeing ‘Terrible Things’

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As scores of Ukrainians flee the Russian onslaught amid heavy airstrikes, they are forced to take a tough road to safety. Many are crossing over into western countries like Poland, Hungary and Moldova, clutching their belongings and children. With freezing temperatures adding to their woes, the roads leading to the west have been clogged by lines of cars, compelling many to walk long distances.

Sharing his account, a man named Manny Marotta, detailed his journey of walking from Lviv, Ukraine to Poland in a Twitter thread. “Long story short: I just walked to Poland,” wrote Manny through his Twitter handle Ukraine Conflict Live 2022.

He wrote that it was a “hellish 20-hour journey” which he had to cover on foot in winters along with thousands of other refugees. “I saw some terrible things,” he added. In the first post of the Twitter thread, Manny shared a few pictures which showed numerous cars lined up on the road headed towards the west. Through the caption, he revealed that the queues were as long as 25 kms. He added that many vehicles did not have fuel while others were abandoned by their owners who chose to flee on foot.

In another tweet, Manny shared that Ukrainian soldiers were stopping vehicles and urging men of fighting age to join the Ukrainian Army to resist Russian advances. He recalled hearing a “commissar” who was encouraging men to see off their mothers, daughters and girlfriends and “turn back and fight the Russian invader.”

Manny further wrote about making a friend along the journey named Max who was taken away for conscription before he could even take his number. In the next tweet, he wrote about a woman who pleaded with the Ukrainian Army to exempt his husband from conscription. “A soldier slapped her and took her husband,” he added.

Recalling one instance, Manny wrote that he asked an old woman carrying rucksacks about her destination. According to him, the woman was headed to Poland on foot, which was an 80km journey from that point. Further in the thread, Manny highlighted seeing toddlers along the way who were forced to walk without realising the situation.

Sharing a picture from Poland, Manny wrote that he reached his destination on the morning of February 25 where the welcome committee greeted them with tea. He wrote that this was the longest and worst night of his life. “I’m just speechless,’ he added.

Citing PA news agency, The Independent reported that Manny from Pittsburgh usually worked as a tour guide in an art museum. He was working as an independent journalist in Ukraine for a week and a half. However, he decided to flee suspecting an imminent Russian bombing.

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