Nieuws van Bogdan 16-5-22Nieuws van Bogdan 20-5-23
Hier weer het laatste nieuws uit Kyiv.
De situatie van de jongeren is alleen maar verslechterd. Zo ook de situatie van de kinderhuizen en scholen in de bezette gebieden, deze vallen letterlijk tussen wal en schip.
In de bijlage kunnen jullie foto’s zien die door Aleksey, één van de jongeren, zijn genomen van het dorp waar hij vandaan is gevlucht. Dit dorp ligt in het zuiden, tussen Cherson en Odessa: totale verwoesting, de mensen die er nog wonen hebben geen water, geen gas en elektriciteit.
Tientallen mensen bellen Bogdan dagelijks met nieuwe hulpvragen, óók vanuit de bezette gebieden. Bogdan maakt zelf dagelijks contact met alle jongeren, gevluchte én niet gevluchte.
Ook is er nu een heel concrete vraag van de rolstoelafhankelijke Alyona om huisvesting buiten Oekraïne. (Zie de foto beneden)
Van: Bogdan Bashtovy
Verzonden: maandag 15 mei 2023 01:00
Onderwerp: Short update
Dear Dutch friends,
I keep waiting for good news to tell you, so that my e-mails sound more positive, but unfortunately things are not getting any better. Although in Kiev life is slowing getting back to normal (we just have to get used to sirens, curfew, and other war attributes) the situation in the East and the South is nothing but a humanitarian disaster. Hundreds of thousands of people are living under constant artillery fire, with no food or medicines, with no income...
Kherson and Oleshky
Although in Kherson and Oleshky there is no intense fighting, the situation in many villages closer to Mykolaiv Region is horrifying. One of our youngsters, Aleksey, who managed to escape sent me photos of his village - completely destroyed, without water, electricity, gas. And there were still some people remaining there when he left. He is not sure they are still alive. A mother of 8 children from another village in Kherson region had to get on top of the roof of her neighbor's house to get a mobile network signal to call me and ask for help. Their village has been without electricity for 2 months now, with no humanitarian aid from any side because of constant fighting. A local store owner drives to Kherson risking his life once every two weeks to buy some food and bring it to the people in the village, but they need to pay for it with ATM cards (no one has cash there these days). This woman had no money on her card like many others.
I get dozens of similar calls from people begging for help and it is just heart-breaking.
Tatiana, the director of the children's home in Oleshky called me yesterday too, as well as some of the orphanage workers. They feel so frustrated and emotionally exhausted.
The orphanage was never evacuated so they are stuck now with the new Russian authorities.
Ukraine stopped paying salaries over a month ago, with no explanations or instructions on how people are supposed to survive.
Tatiana doesn't want to cooperate with the Russian authorities because she is afraid she will be labeled as 'traitor' and persecuted by the Ukrainian authorities under the new "collaboration law" (this has happened to directors in other occupied cities).
But when she calls government officials in Kiev and asks them what she is supposed to do they don't give her any answers.
Tatiana sent a list of medicines that they need for one month but there is no safe way to deliver them.
At this point a Red Cross volunteer travels in his car to the government-controlled territories and brings them.
But it is extremely risky.
You never know if you will be allowed to pass, Russian soldiers can confiscate the medicines at one of the 36 check-points that he has to cross, or he may just disappear like Igor Kosa who was trying to bring medicines to Kherson (they haven't found his van or himself up to this day. (zie onze eerste nieuwsbrief)
So it is not an easy situation.
We will try to buy and send some medicines and see if they make it there but it can't continue like that much longer.
The children need more stable supply of much needed medicines.
They also need staff to take care of them, so I really hope either the Ukrainian government or the new Russian 'authorities' will address those needs.
Many people in Kherson region were organizing pro-Ukrainian demonstrations but the Russian soldiers suppressed them very violently.
People are trying to leave Kherson but it's risky, difficult and very expensive. Drivers charge 4000 UAH to bring one person to the nearest safe city controlled by Ukraine - Krivoy Rog.
Of course, there are also volunteers who help people with disabilities for free, asking just for the cost of gasoline. A lot of our youngsters have fled Kherson = Victor Bulka is now in Germany, Valery in Western Ukraine, Vitaly Pronko in Denmark, two graduates in Lithuania...This past week two more graduates manages to leave Kherson and we paid for their evacuation costs. One of them was Sasja whom you asked about. She is now in Poland with another girl and 5 cats. She had adopted 3 cats from a local shelter - all cats with handicaps - one is completely blind for example... She said she just couldn't leave them behind so she brought them all with her. Her friend brought two more... Before leaving Kherson Sasja helped Olya evacuate too. She didn't want to tell me where exactly she went but I know she was talking about going to her friends in the Crimea. The main thing is that she is in safety now. I know at least one more graduate who chose to evacuate to the Crimea. I keep in touch with all graduates - both those who left the country and those who stayed. In Kherson and Oleshky there are still quite a few young people who have not left.
Speaking of the evacuations. Alyona from Cherkassy Her landlady decided to sell the apartment and flee Ukraine because of the war. So now Alyona and her child need a new place, which is practically impossible in her situation. So she decided to leave Ukraine like millions of other people. The good news is that she will be leaving with a young man - they have been dating for quite some time and decided to get married. Finding a place for Alyona and her family will not be easy - it will be her, her husband, her son and a small Spaniel dog. Both Alyona and her son are very attached to the dog and don't want to leave it behind. I am trying to find a place for them in different countries right now but if you happen to hear of a family or an organization that would be willing to help them in the Netherlands or Lithuania please let me know. Although Alyona is most of the time in her wheelchair, she is quite independent and can cook, clean the apartment and do most other things. I can provide more information if necessary. I will also attach a photo of Alyona with her boyfriend and son. I think it's quite nice.
Alyona with her boyfriend and son
My main helper in Kharkiv - Grisha - is now in Western Ukraine.
Kharkiv has been shelled daily for over 2 months so Grisha couldn't take it any longer.
The other young people are still there in the dorm.
Thank God it was not damaged.
They were without water for a couple of weeks and had to spend a lof of time hiding in the basement but no one was hurt.
Their dormitory is full of people from other parts of Kharkiv who lost their homes.
Thank God the situation there is improving so hopefully the bombardments will stop.
In Donesk region the situation is just terrible.
Most people have fled the region and now sleep on in schools and other shelters in Western Ukraine. Valentina chose to stay in Mykolaivka. I speak to her regularly.
The situation there is terrible - constant air strikes, all stores closed, pharmacies closed...
Pokrovsk is not shelled as much as Slovyansk and Mykolaivka.
One of Aleksey's graduates is working as a cook in the local military hospital.
He works with no days off and sleeps in the basement of the hospital.
You may remember him - his name is Anton, we visited his apartment that he really wanted to renovate.
Very nice guy.
One of Aleksey's caretaker also stayed in Pokrivsk. Her mother is quite old and she refused to leave.
About the money
yes, more money will definitely be appreciated. The price of gasoline has tripled here, just like the food prices, so helping people evacuate or survive where they are is getting more and more expensive.
Thank you for all your help!