Do you remember our adventures with the van during the operations in the early days of the war? Bolt to bolt, and we lived to see a new, efficient and, above all, spacious vehicle, which now serves us in taking on new challenges. We returned from Kiev. Whole, healthy and even more focused on the needs of those remaining there.
Our plans to circumnavigate Ukraine, to visit our partners not only in Kiev, but also in Lubne, Dnipro and Odessa, were thwarted by a Russian attack that knocked out the power in the whole country. We went down to the shelter and when we emerged from it, there was no contact with anyone anymore. There was a complete blackout in Kiev. We saw what the consequences of a power outage are. Anyone who hasn’t experienced it first-hand doesn’t really know what it means. It is not a tea party under a blanket or a forced candlelit dinner. It is an act of terrorism, making winter into a weapon to fight the civilian population.
Rescue was needed by elderly people who, in dark and unheated blocks of flats of several floors, were unable to call for help (when there is no electricity, the mobile network does not work). They could not leave their flats (lifts not working). There was also no water above the 9th floor. They could not see what was going on and was about to happen (no notifications of further bomb alarms, which are usually communicated by phone).
We tried to find our way around Kiev using a compass. The traffic lights and navigation systems did not work. We had to carry the gas cylinders, cooker, battery and our luggage up to the eighth floor of the block of flats where we were spending the night. For us, it was only a few nights. For the people of Kiev, this is a new daily reality. The lack of electricity also meant 3,000 trapped miners underground who could not reach the surface. It’s immobilised grain dryers and other plants producing food, which could soon run out.
Ukrainians are resilient, it is true. Without help and rescue, however, many will not survive this winter. They do not want to go anywhere. They do not want to abandon Kiev. They want to defend it with their perseverance. We want to help them do that. The Warm Package for Ukraine is a package of very practical things: warm blankets, sleeping bags, paraffin lamps, rocket stoves, water purification tablets and high-energy food. The first shipment has arrived on site. More should follow soon. We know exactly who needs them. We promised to come back and bring even more warmth.
Join the action. Donate a Warm Package for Ukraine. The fundraiser is underway on our homepage.