Ukrainian refugees in Romania say they will return home after the war

The Media Line is on the ground in Romania to cover the Ukrainian refugee crisis.

 Refugees at the Suceava train station prepare to board a train that will take them to their next destination inside Romania on March 15, 2022. (photo credit: MAYA MARGIT/THE MEDIA LINE)
Refugees at the Suceava train station prepare to board a train that will take them to their next destination inside Romania on March 15, 2022.
(photo credit: MAYA MARGIT/THE MEDIA LINE)

Ukrainian refugees continue to pour into Romania in the third week of Russia’s war on Ukraine. Since the start of the Russian invasion on February 24, over 101,000 Ukrainian citizens have entered Romania through the Siret border crossing.

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Volunteers are working 24/7 at the Siret border, greeting the weary and anxious refugees as they cross into the country and providing them with hot drinks and soups. Firefighters are helping the refugees to carry their luggage and push wheelchairs; several religious organizations have set up tables and tents where they help the refugees plan their next move; groups have set up tables filled with free food and toiletries for the refugees.

Some of the refugees will be hosted by friends in Europe or beyond, with most planning to travel by train to Western Europe. Many have no idea where they are going next. They will remain in the border area for a day or two before traveling to their next destination.

The Romanian city of Suceava, located about 25 miles south of the Ukrainian border, has set up several camps and shelters for the Ukrainian refugees, including the Mandachi Hotel, which has been converted into a refugee shelter occupied mostly by women and children.

A mother and child seen through the window of a bus leaving the Siret border crossing between Ukraine and Romania and heading to the Romanian city of Suceava on March 15, 2022. (credit: MAYA MARGIT/THE MEDIA LINE)A mother and child seen through the window of a bus leaving the Siret border crossing between Ukraine and Romania and heading to the Romanian city of Suceava on March 15, 2022. (credit: MAYA MARGIT/THE MEDIA LINE)

At the Suceava train station, refugees are boarding trains for other parts of Romania. The train to Bucharest is standing room only; from Bucharest, they will travel to other cities in Europe.

Most of the refugees have left family behind in Ukraine. They insist that they do not want to remain in Western Europe or even in the United States when the fighting stops in Ukraine; they say they want to return to their homeland and rebuild.