Human emotion washing up on east Ukrainian parking lot

Human emotion washing up on east Ukrainian parking lot

ZAPORIZHZHIA, Ukraine — Tears of joy and tears of sadness, tender embraces and passionate kisses — wave after wave of human emotion washed up on an east Ukrainian parking lot this week that has become a safe haven for civilians fleeing Russia's invasion.

The flow of cars never stops for long. Almost a dozen vehicles filled with people and luggage roll into the lot throughout the day. Weary families register with authorities and access help from aid agencies that have set up on the asphalt in Zaporizhzhia, some 370 miles southeast of the capital, Kyiv.

Nastya Ponomarenko, 24, crying as she bounced her 5 month-old baby girl Alysa on her shoulder, fled Nova Kakhovka, a city just up the Dnieper River from Kherson.

She said we were living a good life before the invasion. I really want all of this to end. More than 11 million Ukrainians have fled their homes since Russian forces invaded on February 24, and many of those fleeing to Zaporizhzhia have seen some of the worst of the fighting.