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From the first days of the full-scale Russian invasion, many residents of central and eastern Ukraine fled to the western regions to escape enemy shelling. Until February 24, the Skarbova Hora in Halychyna was a center for green tourism. But with the beginning of the Russian aggression, this place became a refuge for IDPs who were forced to leave their homes in Mariupol, Okhtyrka, Kharkiv, Bucha, Borodianka, and other cities.

Because of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, over 10 million Ukrainians have been forced to flee their homes. More than 7.7 million of them became internally displaced, accounting for one in every six Ukrainians. With the onset of Russian aggression, some Ukrainian entrepreneurs modified their activities to help those in need. Some provided their facilities for humanitarian aid, some prepare free dinners on a regular basis and others offer to house IDPs from all over Ukraine.

The Skarbova Hora ranch, a center of agritourism and horse breeding in Halychyna, was founded back in 2013 in the village of Lopushna by a local entrepreneur Ostap Lun. The ranch quickly became a safe haven for many displaced people. For Ostap, the Skarbova Hora is the work of his life.

He says that the ranch currently accommodates about half a hundred IDPs from Okhtyrka, Mariupol, Hostomel, Rubizhne, Bucha, Borodianka, Kharkiv, and Kyiv.

— We’re doing well. People help personally by working in the kitchen and cleaning; they treat this place like their own home.

Some groceries are received as part of charitable assistance. The most difficult situation is with the availability of meat, vegetables, and fruits, which are all in short supply. All of that must be purchased. “In two days’ time, we can collectively eat half a pig,” Ostap adds. However, the ranch owner remains optimistic. He claims that life continues even during the war, as two baby goat were born on the ranch during this time.

The ranch’s staff typically offers horse riding, organizes events, welcomes visitors, and prepares delicious burgers. Green tourism at its best. Since the start of the full-fledged war, the offers for tourists have been temporarily suspended, as the ranch’s space and daily operations have had to adapt to the needs of a large number of people.

Doctor Khrystyna Tsybalenko came to Halychyna from Rubizhne. Her dream is to return to her professional occupation:

— My patients from the Luhansk region call me frequently. Some relocated to these areas. They, too, require assistance. We have been promised that a branch of our hospital will be built somewhere in western Ukraine. I’m looking forward to it. I’d work there as well.

People adapt to their new circumstances and believe in our victory. At the ranch, life doesn’t stop.

The material is prepared by

The author of the project:

Bogdan Logvynenko

Author:

Vladyslava Kritska

Editor-in-chief:

Yevgeniya Sapozhnykova

Editor:

Anastasiia Sierikova

Producer,

Interviewer:

Kseniia Chykunova

Cameraman:

Yaroslav Ilchyshyn

Film editor:

Nadia Melnychenko

Director:

Mykola Nosok

Sound engineer:

Anastasiya Klymova

Photo editor:

Yurii Stefanyak

Content manager:

Kateryna Yuzefyk

Translator:

Sofia Havryliuk

Translation editor:

Yuliia Tymoshenko