One of those pressing the "Record" button is a 19-year-old woman who was forced to flee Ukraine with her family but devastatingly had to leave her pastor father behind due to the Ukrainian government's new wartime laws which ban men between the ages of 18-60 from leaving the country.
TikToker Diana Totok (@diana_totok) filmed the heartbreaking moment she and her 17-year-old sister Darina tearfully said their goodbyes to their father through the wire fence at the Romania–Ukraine border after seeking refuge in the neighbouring nation.
Speaking to The Guardian,Totok expressed her agony at having to leave her father behind, she said: “I was crying and having a panic attack … I was so frustrated and scared."
“Still to this moment I’m not sure if I’m going to see him [again] or not," she added.
Since posting the moment on February 28th, it has been viewed over 19.8m times, with tens of thousands of comments from people all over the globe sending their prayers and well wishes to Totok and her family.
Another video from Totok shows a series of compiled clips as events unfolded - from the moment she packed her suitcase and froze at the sound of planes nearby to getting emotional about leaving her home and pets to travelling via train to make it past the Romanian border with her sister and mother Svetlana.
This particular video also went viral on the social media platform with 17.2m views.
She described her situation as "just like a horror movie," and explained her filming helped "put everything that's going on my mind in order."
Talking to my dad. He’s in Ukraine we’re in Romania 🇺🇦🇷🇴
Now, Totok along with her mother and sister are currently staying in a flat with other refugees in Romania, and she is helping to raise funds for Ukrainians by using her platform to share where people can donate by including a link in her bio.
Totok also acknowledged the historic importance her footage will have in the future when society looks back at the conflict.
“In the second world war, there was no gadgets and no filming … I knew that these videos would be like, historic,” she said. “I thought, ‘I’m going to show these videos to my kids and say that that’s what we had to go through’.”
While we don't know what will happen as the conflict continues, one thing is for certain - Totok is determined to return home when it's all over.
"I am planning to go back home to Ukraine as soon as war ends. [I] will help rebuild the country," she told one commenter.
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