A Ukrainian MP has told of feeling “traumatised” by the war in her home country as she mistook road repair work in Poland for shelling damage.
Inna Sovsun, the deputy leader of the Holos Party, has largely remained in Kyiv during the conflict but travelled to Berlin this week “to advocate for providing support for Ukraine”.
Travelling through Poland, Ms Sovsun revealed the psychological toll of the Russian invasion led her to believe missiles had landed outside of Ukraine.
“I arrived in Poland at a railway station, I was waiting for my train and I looked around and I saw something that made me think, ‘Oh, missiles hit here as well’,” Ms Sovsun told the PA news agency.
“And then I came close and I realised, first of all, you are in Poland, they didn’t use (missiles) here, they were just repairing the roads.
“It looked like some sort of mess, but (I had to) prepare my brain for three seconds.
“That is when I realised I’ve been traumatised by this to a level that I probably didn’t even realise.”
Russia’s latest attack on Kyiv struck a residential high-rise and another building.
Ms Sovsun, who was not in the capital while the shelling took place, said it was “very surreal” to see the people of Berlin continuing with daily life.
“People are riding their bikes here, drinking their coffee on the street and everything,” she said.
“I can just understand how different all the realities of our war are for these people, so I can see how they probably (do not want to) get involved.
“They are living their life, it’s a very surreal feeling.”
Ms Sovsun added she will be returning to Ukraine after her trip to Berlin, despite feeling “scared”.
“Am I scared? Yes.
“But that is a feeling we’ve been living with for a very long time,” she said.
“For me, the moment I left, it almost felt like a betrayal.
“I know that sounds stupid, but since I came here to advocate for Ukraine, I had this feeling like I’m leaving my country.
“This is my country… And that was a very strange feeling, like why should I be leaving?
“I definitely want to go back.”