An 88-year-old Ukrainian woman, who experienced soldiers from her country pushing Russian troops out of her village just two months ago, is finally feeling a bit more at ease.
The woman, named Praskovya, was left terrified and traumatized after Ukrainian soldiers took back her village of Mala Rohan from Russian forces after Russia invaded her country. But Ukrainian soldiers have continued to push the Russians back further, prompting life in her village to resume.
“You see how vibrant I am? I’m still alive,” she told TODAY’s Richard Engel, who returned to the village to speak with her two months after first meeting her.
Power lines are being fixed and there is food distribution while shops remain closed. Praskovya's home has a leaky roof and bombings blew out her windows, which are now covered in plastic.
“When they were bombing it was so scary. The bombs were whistling and thundering,” she said about the Russians’ presence in her village.
Praskovya, who survived World War II and famine, lives alone, a widow whose husband died nine years ago. Her son and daughter live in areas controlled by Russia and haven’t called her in months.
But she sees positive change coming slowly.
“Today we got the lights back. Before there was nothing. Now we have gas and I even cooked a borscht,” she said before giving a lesson in how she prepares the meal.
Praskovya and Richard sat down to eat some of the food, while washing it down with her homemade vodka.
“For all good things,” she said as they toasted.