Lehigh University grad shares harrowing story of escaping Ukraine war: 'Scariest drive of my life'

For the last 30 days, Alina Beskrovna had no way to communicate with the world -- until now.

Friday, March 25, 2022
Ukrainian woman shares first hand account of Russia's invasion
A 31-year old Ukrainian woman who got her MBA at Lehigh University shares a powerful first-hand account of how devastating Russia's invasion has been for the Ukrainian people.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- A day before Russia invaded Ukraine, a Lehigh University graduate from Mariupol, Ukraine spoke to Action News as she was taking shelter.

Hours after our initial contact, 31-year-old Alina Beskrovna lost all communication with the world -- until now.

Beskrovna reached out Thursday to share the harrowing story of her last 30 days in hiding in the city of Mariupol, which was under heavy Russian attack for the last month.

"The last month has been hell. The Russians are literally wiping the city off the map. We lost everything. We don't have a home or a hometown to go back to. I personally know two neighbors who have been killed. I don't know where my father is. He has been missing since the 28th. I do not know if he is alive," said Beskrovna.

Beskrovna survived the last 30 days in a friend's basement with, at times, three dozen others packed in with her.

SEE ALSO: Lehigh University grad in Ukraine sends Action News emails as Russian invasion underway

Alina Beskrovna sent emails to Action News reporter Katherine Scott as the Russian invasion began in Ukraine.

"We had no water. We had to look for a well and boil and reboil and filter. We had very little food. We started rationing closer to the end of the fourth week," she said.

Just this week, Beskrovna, her mother, and four others decided to escape the city. They drove more than 12 hours west in Ukraine, and hope to continue their trek in a day or two.

"It was the scariest drive of my life. For hours we could not be sure we would be alive the next moment," Beskrovna reveals.

And she tells Action News that this war is far worse than the images we see on TV.

"War is having to cook on an open fire, black hands, smoke-filled coats, and hair that has not been washed in weeks, and living in total darkness. Kids who are playing a game or making a spell on the sky to make the air raid and shelling go away," describes Beskrovna.

The Lehigh University graduate will continue to make the trek west out of Ukraine with her mother, and she hopes to come to the United States as she considers this her second home.