FlixBus resumes trips from Netherlands to Ukraine
An almost full bus departed from Maastricht on Monday evening, with Kyiv as its final destination. The FlixBus bus came from Brussels and will also stop in several German cities en route to the transfer location in Warsaw.
Most of the 61 travelers on the bus had destinations in Germany or Poland. Ukrainian Oksana Radionova (31) got on the bus in Maastricht. She said she was going back to her home in Kyiv because she couldn't find a shelter for her three cats. They still have enough food and water, she said. Her father was supposed to care for the animals, but he also fled a week after her. "I have no choice," Oksana said. "I'm terrified. Bombs fall on the city at night. But I can't abandon my cats."
She ended up in the Netherlands through all kinds of detours. "First with the train through hell, from Kyiv to Lviv, where frightened people fight for every place to flee. Then via Slovakia to Germany, but everything there was full. So I ended up in Utrecht and Maastricht."
She hopes she can stay in Kyiv. "But if the bombs fall close, I'll have to leave again. I'll take my cats with me."
A man from Belarus is also on the bus. In broken English, he said he was staying in Brussels but had to leave the country and return to his homeland. "Not Russia," he stressed.
According to FlixBus, the number of people leaving Ukraine remains stable, but more and more people are going back. FlixBus considers the situation safe enough to run buses to western Ukrainian destinations. According to Oksana, only a few people return from the Netherlands. "Most of those who fled Kyiv have already returned home," she said.
The first bus left from Maastricht on Monday evening and is expected to arrive in Warsaw around 6:20 p.m. on Tuesday. There, passengers have almost five hours to catch their breath or transfer to other destinations. There are also buses to Lviv from Warsaw, for example.
At around 11:15 p.m., the bus will continue its journey to Kyiv, where it is expected at 3:40 p.m. on Wednesday. According to the bus company, it takes about 40 hours to reach Kyiv from Maastricht.
Reporting by ANP