We would like to share some emails Paul has been sending to the Boomtown Rats. Paul hopes he might be able to log on to COB (he is known as Major Paul) at some point in the coming days. If you would like to leave a message of support and solidarity to Paul and his family I'm sure he would appreciate it.
Hello, it’s Paul again! From the emails I sent to you indirectly. I’m doing as you asked and reaching back to you to tell about my situation. I’m sorry this one is really long, there’s a lot to say. I'm sorry my English isn't great at times, it's not my first language.I wrote my previous letter back in February when the war was just starting out. My family and I were back in Kyiv - my hometown and Ukraine’s capital. So was and still is is a pretty big target for the Russians, which got everyone concerned since the very first day of the invasion. We stayed at home and kept ourselves as safe as we possibly could during the first week. My area was mostly safe from the bombs and the shelling, since my apartment building is pretty far from the city centre. I still had these moments of paralysing fear every time I heard the bomb alarms, and I had to spend a few nights in the cold basement of our apartment building. I was and still am struggling with feeling helpless and like I wasn’t doing enough - while I was doing some community work here and there, I knew that it wasn’t enough because I couldn’t join Territorial Defence like boys my age did.However, after the news broke out about the soldiers quite literally destroying Kharkiv and Irpin (a town about 15 kilometres away from where I live) my family got very scared and concerned about our safety. So we made a collective decision to move to a safer city in western Ukraine until it quiets down in Kyiv. Though I really, really didn’t want to leave my city until the very last moment. My whole life’s here, and I really wasn’t ready to leave it behind. It really hurt seeing my record collection, my guitar, my pet frogs and other stuff for the last time. I didn’t have much time to pack my bag because I was stupid enough to think we wouldn’t have to actually leave. I felt really bad for leaving some of my friends who stayed here (though thankfully they eventually moved as well, or left the country completely. I really hope it’s not permanent because we’re basically scattered all over Europe now).Either way, we had to leave our home on March 3rd and traveled for two days from Kyiv. We had to sleep in various refugee shelters in Vinnytsia before we got to our destination and found a permanent stay in Chernivtsi. I had to sleep on the floor the first few days because another refugee family was living with us and we didn’t have much space, but eventually they moved out and we had the two-room apartment to the five of us (which is me, my brother, my grandmother and my parents). The only thing that’s important is that we’re 600 kilometres away from the shelling and the bombing. We lived rather quietly in the apartment for about a week until the owners evicted us due to a big misunderstanding. We had to quickly pack our bags and leave without having anywhere else to go. Getting somewhere to stay was progressively difficult - people were fleeing the more dangerous parts of Ukraine to come here. For a couple of days we were just going around trying to find somewhere permanent to stay. Eventually a coworker of my father let him know that his friend took the chance to go to Romania and left her apartment for us to live in. We were absolutely ecstatic since we finally got to safety again. We moved in just today and took a while sleeping it off and unpacking - that's why I took so long responding, sorry.Anyhow, I hope this wasn't too long or boring to read. I know my story isn't as exciting now that I'm in safety, right? My family is safe as well, but I'm worried about my friends whose families decided to leave the country. We stay in touch, but it's getting progressively difficult.I was really hoping to see you guys play live during a more peaceful time. Maybe someday... Hoping that you respond soon!Take care,Paul