Liv has been living in France since March 15th. He lives in a house loaned by residents in Saint-Etienne-de-Cruz, a village 30 kilometers from Grenoble. Since he arrived from Ukraine with his mother, Tetiana, grandmother Olga, the family has grown: now Lev has a younger sister named Vera. She was born on the 15th of April, fortunately far from the war.
His grandmother explains, “At first, it wasn’t easy for Liv, but he quickly got used to life here. He received a great welcome at school, both from teachers and children. Since the end of March, the 6-year-old has been going to a CP class every A morning where he learns French. He loves to read and already knows a lot of vocabulary. What does he like most?” Math and playing with his friends Lou and Sébastien. In the afternoon, he does his homework with his grandmother who can help him because she is a French teacher in Ukraine.
“How lucky he is to do all this!”
With his class, he already took part in a walk on the theme of water and a visit to the Grenoble Museum.
‘It was wonderful,’ says his grandmother, ‘how lucky Liv was to do all that!’ But the little boy with big blue eyes does not forget his life there, in his own country.
In Ukraine, too, he did many activities (aikido, drawing, English, etc.), and today he can not wait to see his father and his friends there.
Insects are excited!
Since he lived in France, in a house surrounded by nature, Liv discovered a true passion for insects and lizards. He spends a lot of time in the garden chasing them to notice them. He even imagined an ant farm and hoped to find a snake one day!
Playing outside is very helpful. At such times, Lev does not think about war in his country.
Why is there a war in Ukraine?
The war in Ukraine began on February 24. On that day, Russian President Vladimir Putin decided to invade this border country and attack it, in a way, to punish it. According to Vladimir Putin, Ukraine is a danger to Russia because it wants to get closer to European countries, which he does not accept.
The Russian armed forces believed that they would win this war quickly, but from the beginning they warned the Ukrainians that they would fight to the end to defend their country. Every day, bombings and fighting reap new victims and destroy towns and villages. On both sides, Ukrainian and Russian, there are thousands of dead. But it is still impossible to know exactly how much.
Refugees’ long journey
More than 5 million Ukrainians have fled their country since the war broke out, according to figures from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Most of them were women and children because men of fighting age had to stay put. Many Ukrainians sought refuge in neighboring countries, in Moldova, Romania and Poland. About 70,000 live in France today.
To avoid being in danger, these refugees had to make a long journey, often in very difficult conditions. After hiding for ten days in the basement of their building
In Dnipro, a large city in eastern Ukraine, Lev, his mother and grandmother traveled 3,500 kilometers. They crossed first Moldova and part of Romania by car, then boarded a plane to Lyon, before finding a little rest near Grenoble.
Thousands of Ukrainian children go to school in France
Like Lev, approximately 17,000 Ukrainian students are educated in France, from kindergarten to high school. They are just over a thousand in the Grenoble Academy alone, which has five departments (Isère, Savoy, Haute-Savoie, Drum and Ardèche). Since March, new Ukrainian refugees have been arriving in classrooms every day.