February 29, 2024

Athens News

News in English from Greece

‘Life goes on’, say Ukrainian refugees: marriages and work in Greece

“Life goes on even during the war, when we are in exile,” Victor tells us before signing his beloved Victoria at the Thessaloniki City Hall.

The groom in a plain white T-shirt and the bride in a modest chintz dress look a little uptight. They do not want publicity, they are photographed only for friends and relatives. “We decided not to waste time, we don’t know what will happen to us tomorrow, and we decided to get married in Thessaloniki, where we arrived as refugees,” Victor says.

Their wedding was scheduled for September and was to take place at home, in Ukraine. “The war changed our plans, we left with the first bombings. We went through different countries and ended up in Thessaloniki, while my wife’s parents stayed in Romania,” he adds. In difficult times, they want to be a couple united by marriage: “We really liked Thessaloniki, we fell in love with this hospitable city. That’s why we decided to sign here.”

Victor and Victoria have started their honeymoon, but the newlyweds have no time to think about how to spend it. The couple has no means of subsistence at all, and therefore they are urgently looking for work, writes in.gr. They, like many Ukrainian refugees, perhaps most of their compatriots, find it difficult to survive, and they are primarily busy looking for work. Although there are some lucky people who have already found a job.

Some have opened websites on the Internet, such as “Ukrainians in Greece” and “Mariupol in Greece”, in order to inform each other, find relatives and work.

From teacher to kitchen helper

42-year-old Ukrainian Angela K. has been working in a tavern in Thessaloniki for several days. A teacher by profession, she has worked at a public school as well as at a private children’s art center in Mariupol. She says: “We left our bombed-out city in horror. Only the foundation of our house remained. We walked many kilometers to the border with Russia, because we had no other choice. We crossed the border and ended up in Novorossiysk, from there we got to Vladikavkaz (North Ossetia), then to Georgia, and from there to Turkey, so, with many difficulties and adventures, we finally crossed the Greek border on April 3 and arrived in Thessaloniki.

The Ukrainian woman says she is happy because she started working a few days ago. She doesn’t seem to mind washing dishes all day: “We can’t go back to Mariupol, our house is destroyed. I decided to be patient and I think that I am in a good position compared to the fact that some of our fellow citizens died, others were injured. After all, we are saved!

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