WE HAVE REACHED THE UKRAINIAN SIDE!!! When you don’t know that something can’t be done, you just do it. This simple rule has proven its worth many times before. Today we spent the night on the Ukrainian side near Budomierz. We helped several hundred people by handing out warm blankets, food and, above all, several hundred litres of hot tea.
What people need above all is to warm themselves up. They are freezing and exhausted. Hundreds of people waiting to cross without any shelter, in temperatures of six degrees below zero. Mothers with children. Men embracing their wives and tenderly kissing their children. This is where they part, as they are about to go back to fight. Many of them come from Kiev and the eastern parts of the country. Some left home 2 or 3 days ago. They had to walk the final leg of the journey to the border for three hours, along a queue of cars that stretched for miles.
We spent the whole night here. We were alone on the Ukrainian side of the border. It is here that those fleeing the war spend several hours at a time. When they finally reach Poland, they enter a well-organised network of aid. Our border guards are the first to reach out to them, keeping the formalities and crossing time to a minimum (on the Ukrainian side the procedures take a lot longer). Later, they are greeted by assistance fuelled by Polish hospitality. This is coordinated aid, prepared by humanitarian organisations or state institutions, as well as grassroots aid, organised by people whose solidarity would not allow them to stay at home.
We ended the night with the confidence that today we were exactly where we needed to be. In just a few hours, we took care of several hundred people. After meeting with us, they had one last stretch of about 2 km to the border crossing ahead of them. In a few hours, they would be safe.
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