During the early days of the war in Ukraine — as Russia was attacking the city of Mykolaiv, near the Black Sea — Anna Sevidova decided to hide in her basement with her son. She figured it was their best hope for staying safe.
But when a missile exploded in their yard, a fragment of it shot into the basement and struck Anna in the face. With a piece of the missile lodged in her nose, she crawled through her collapsed home, dragging her son underneath her to protect him. Both of them were covered in blood. “I thought those were the last seconds of my life,” Anna said.
Instead, they survived and soon fled to Moldova, which borders Ukraine. They are among the roughly 10 million Ukrainians, or about one-fourth of the country’s population, who have left their homes in the past month. Of the 10 million, about seven million have moved to other parts of Ukraine, while more than 3.5 million have left the country.
It is the largest displacement of Europeans since World War II, according to the United Nations. More than half of Ukraine’s children are no longer living in their homes.
The numbers are so large because Russia is using a deliberate strategy of attacking civilians to destabilize Ukraine. This flood of refugees has created major challenges in Europe. Moldova, for example, has taken in more than 100,000 Ukrainians, despite being one of Europe’s smallest and poorest countries. About 90 percent of those refugees are living in private homes. “For now, society is showing a great degree of empathy,” Nicu Popescu, Moldova’s foreign minister, told The Times.
President Biden announced yesterday that the U.S. would accept 100,000 refugees and donate $1 billion to help European countries deal with the surge in refugees. Previously, the Biden administration had set a cap for refugees, coming from anywhere in the world, of 125,000 per year.
Today’s newsletter summarizes some of the best journalism about Ukraine’s refugees, including photographs that Sarah Hughes, a Times photo editor, selected.
Pop: Bespoke balloon arrangements are the new bouquets.
Modern Love: Two sister search for answers in their mother’s life and death.
A Times classic: The man who cracked the lottery.
Advice from Wirecutter: This baking sheet is a versatile kitchen staple.
Lives Lived: As a programmer for CompuServe in 1987, Stephen Wilhite led a team that revolutionized how people shared online video clips. They called their format a GIF (pronounced “jif,” as Wilhite himself said). He died at 74.
ARTS AND IDEAS
A preview of spring books
The arrival of spring means many new books to dig into. The Times Book Review put together a preview of exciting titles to look out for.
In the world of fiction, there are sprawling family sagas and tales of time travel. In the supernatural novel “The Hacienda,” by Isabel Cañas, a young bride must survive a sinister new home.
For fans of nonfiction, the spring slate includes a memoir by Viola Davis and a biography of George Floyd by two Washington Post journalists. There are also historical accounts, like “River of the Gods,” by Candice Millard, which delves into a yearslong journey in the 19th century to trace the Nile River to its source.
PLAY, WATCH, EAT
What to Cook
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