Yesterday, a 15-year-old girl named Daniele, who lives in Ukraine’s capital, told CBS News of her hopes and dreams for the future. This morning, she woke up to a war.
“At 5am today I had woken up bc [because] of some explosion sound, but I thought that was fireworks and went to sleep,” Daniele said in a message. “At 7am I again woke up and the first thing I saw was my friends from another cities texted me that they also heard those sounds , everyone was frightened.”
Daniele lives in Kyiv, which was among the Ukrainian cities hit by, which Ukrainian leaders called a “full-scale invasion” and Vladimir Putin referred to as a “special military operation.” CBS News teams are also in the city, and like Daniele, have reported hearing loud explosions. A Ukrainian government spokesperson said “cruise and ballistic missile strikes” targeted the city’s military control centers.
“I just woke up, all of my friends frightened and don’t know what to do,” Daniele told CBS News over Twitter on Thursday morning. She said all school, including online lessons, had been canceled and that she and her parents de ella have plans to leave the city.
Soon after, Daniele tweeted that something had exploded near her, but that she wasn’t sure where.
“Oh my god it’s not only near me, something’s going in Kyiv rn [right now],” she said, and then soon after, “Now it’s [quiet].”
She is feeling OK at the moment, she said, but is scared for her friends who are in the Kharkiv region, an area in northeast Ukraine that was also hard hit by Russia’s military overnight, along with the major cities of Odessa and Mariupol.
“My friend texted like hour ago that there were a lot of Ukrainian tanks and military in Kharkov region,” she told CBS News around 10:30 am ET on Thursday, using the Russian name for Kharkiv. “[They] haven’t texted again since.”
She and her family are getting ready to leave their home, she said. They are planning to go to the countryside, where they believe it might be safer.
Just a day earlier, CBS News spoke with Daniele about the situation in Ukraine. She had expressed hope that a full-scale war would not happen. It was something she and her friends often talked about, but that they tried not to dwell on. They much preferred listening to music, watching movies and enjoying each other’s company.
They also had hopes for a school dance, but Daniele said making plans for such an event had to be put on the back burner, “because we don’t know what will happen.”
“I’m just worried that war will start because there’s so many people who die and it’s horrible,” she told CBS News less than 12 hours before Russia’s attack began. “I just want there to be peace.”
Daniele has hopes of one day becoming a lawyer so she can help people, she said.
“I’m just a kid, and I don’t want to worry about those things. I just want to go to college. I want my dreams to come true. And there’s so many people who also want this.”
“If war starts,” she said, “it will be terrifying.”
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism