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“It was important that we meet again despite the war”

The war in Ukraine has been going on for more than six months. Irpin is one of the towns that have been heavily affected by this conflict. Our special envoys went to meet the Denisenko family, of which Alla is celebrating her 85th birthday. For the occasion, her daughter, living in London, came with her two grandchildren. Reportage.

Alla Denisenko just turned 85. Her daughter Marina, who has lived in the UK for 24 years, came to celebrate her birthday with her sisters in Irpin, despite the war. “It was important that we find each other despite (the conflict), to be together, to feel like a family… it gives us strength and the feeling that we will overcome the situation”, testifies Marina.

Hours before returning to London, Marina made a point of showing her two sons the bridge over which her relatives fled the Russian advance in March. A bridge that has become a symbol of Ukrainian resistance.

“I was 20 when Ukraine became independent again. I’m 51 today, and I’ve been through it all like millions of Ukrainians. It’s a story that determines our lives, the fact that Ukraine becomes a truly independent, truly European country, and it is paying a high price for it,” explains Marina.

This story of emancipation from Russia, Marina wants to pass it on to her children who grew up thousands of kilometers from Ukraine.

>> See also: Irpin, Kharkiv… a look back at six months of war in Ukraine in five reports