The trains from Kramatorsk.

Sit around Lviv train station long enough, watch and talk to the river of those spilling out of carriage after carriage, train after train, and a simple question, where have you come from, is all that is needed for that river to engulf you with its shock. Just shock: there is hardly a moment for anyone, it feels, to process the events enough for any despair to settle in. Ask that same question, carriage after carriage, train after train, and the answer is always the same. Kramatorsk, Kramatorsk, Kramatorsk. For the ignorant westerner their repetitive answer is a crash course in the geography of horrors. For them, for now, there is only the shock of what happened, the shock in face of the incomprehensible and inconceivable that is now upon them.

Together with those who can, but do not quite yet speak of the horrors they bore witness to arrive those who also bore witness to that same sheer brutality of the human race. Their presence, alone, the fact that people decided to take their animal companions with them in their fleeting moment, is the absolute if maybe unuttered realisation that this is not a temporary journey, and that it might be long, too long, too very long before a baffled westerner sits at the Kramatorsk platform, pats their dog and asks: where have you come from?

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