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The aid team dodging Putin's bombs to deliver supplies to those trapped in Donbas

As war rumbles in the distance Oleksiy Savkevych takes essential supplies with his volunteers wherever they are needed.

They provide a lifeline for the people trapped in fighting in Avdiivka’s frontline town, which is located next to Donetsk, eastern Ukraine.

It has been fought for since 2014, and it is directly in the path Putin’s army attempts to conquer the Donbas – the industrial heartland of Russia.

Oleksiy states that “Before invasion on 24 February there was twenty five, thirty thousand so people evacuated, some still remain here.”


He says he helps those who are unable or unwilling to leave.

An elderly man, whose family lives in Russian occupied territory, is the first to drop off.

Although he is afraid and alone, he is not able to escape the dangers of being trapped.

Continue reading: Officials are interested in what Putin didn’t say during Russia’s annual Victory Day parade speech

There are fragments of rockets and bombs scattered across the roads, where they make deliveries.

This place has been left without running water or power, and is now in desperate need of help.

The fighting does not stop Oleksiy or the other humanitarian workers loading their vans with more supplies.

Image Oleksiy Svkevych takes essential supplies with his volunteers wherever they are needed

Explosions heard far away

Once they have delivered the goods in the centre, they will need to cross the railway to the eastern district.

They drive to the edge of town and get even closer to the fighting.

Explosions can be heard far away as more bags are handed in.

Continue reading:

Putin shows Russia’s military power as the war in Ukraine rages

Image They provide a lifeline for the people who are trapped by fighting

Tetiana, one the many people he assists, tells me about the effects of war on this community.

“You’re afraid to go anywhere. I have to go to the village, but I am afraid. You can’t travel anywhere, you must stay put when the bombs go off. What do you think you’re living? She says.

The delivery team is willing to travel anywhere, anytime, regardless of the danger.

The next visit will be closer to the frontline, and the handover can be nerve-wracking.

While the aid is being distributed, the shells whistle overhead and land close to the team.

Families retreat back to their homes, and everyone looks for a safe place to sleep.

All are exposed.

They move from cover to leave the area when they feel like there is no immediate danger. However, Oleksiy continues his deliveries.

He says, “We wait until we understand that it is safer. Then we continue.”

We meet Valentina with her six grandchildren at the final stop.

Image: Valentina with her six grandchildren

They seem to be unaware of the war in their childhood innocence, and play games. She reveals how their lives are different.

We lived in an apartment. We are temporarily hiding. There is another apartment. We don’t have an apartment there. She says it’s because there’s so much shooting, the girls are afraid to go.”

Each week, civilians are killed in fighting.

Subscribe to the Ukraine War Diaries Podcast on Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts. Spotify, Spotify, Spreaker, and Spotify.

Oleksiy, his team and their colleagues know that their work can be dangerous, but it is also very rewarding to live on the frontline.

Without him, the suffering of many people in this community would be worse.


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