In a Polish Village, Renewed Fears of War Spilling Over From Ukraine

The broader Lubelskie region including Przewodow is now home to over 60,000 Ukrainian refugees, and the shock waves of the blast smashed their newly acquired, fragile sense of security.

Vitalik, 15, is a mentally disabled orphan who was evacuated together with 40 others from an orphanage for children with special needs in Zaturce, in western Ukraine, in the first weeks of the war. When he heard about the explosions, he ran to his caretakers asking whether they have to flee, ready to pack his teddy bear.

“All their traumatic experiences came back yesterday evening,” said Piotr Zygarski, the head of the foundation, Honor In Helping Children, that evacuated the children to a hotel in Kaweczynek, some 40 miles from Przewodow.

When the children arrived, they fled for cover every time they heard American military airplanes, which are stationed in a nearby town, Mr. Zygarski said. But after months in psychological care, they started behaving like children their age: playing, dancing, and having fun. All that changed last night.

“It fell on us from the sky,” he said of the news about the blast. “It was a shock, to us and to the children. We kept telling them they could feel safe in Poland. And this sense of security has been shattered.”

Ms. Margol, the cook from the school kitchen, said she was now deeply worried that war might come to Poland. When Volodymyr, a city in western Ukraine 30 miles across the border, was shelled, she was volunteering at the border crossing.

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