Masha Iefimova actually lives in Estonia. For her beloved horse she takes on a journey that is anything but harmless and returns to her home country.
When war broke out in Ukraine and forced millions of people to flee over the border into Poland and other neighbouring countries, some refugees were able to take pets such as cats and dogs along with them. Ukrainian Masha Iefimova was already living abroad, most recently in Estonia, but had kept her horse Vasya near the Ukrainian capital Kyiv.
When Russia launched its invasion on Feb 24, she was determined to go back to Ukraine and fetch Vasya. “I know that my horse would be left alone in Ukraine and very soon there was not enough food and it was quite dangerous to keep him there,” said the 37-year-old, who has been living abroad for some years. Before the war, she had applied for EU documents to bring the horse to Estonia and had been expecting to get him there in April.
The journey to rescue Vasya and seven other horses from a small village near Kyiv took days of driving and involved sleeping in freezing stables. The convoy even ran out of petrol at certain points during the trip, Iefimova said. She hoped to take Vasya home to the Estonian capital Tallinn, where the horse can finally rest from the journey.
“He’s quite calm today but was stressed for the past two weeks. I’m happy he’s okay today,” Iefimova said, describing Vasya as polite and good with children. “It was a very, very complicated journey … Right now we just need to take some rest,” Iefimova said.