It’s been a while since I’ve made one of these updates. I think because a) I’m way more busy with Ukraine stuff than before, b) I suspect that things I’m experiencing during this war are changing me into someone more numb and fatigued.
So I wanted to update and celebrate my friend Dima, whose victory today gives me hope. He’s been integral in helping us get ambulances to the front lines last time and is still working with us on ambulances and other things. Currently, there is heavy fighting in the contested areas around the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut, Donetsk region. The area was hit by air strikes. Half-ton (500 kg) bombs were dropped on towns there completely destroying neighborhoods. One family from Svitlodarsk village in that area hid among the ruins in a bomb shelter for 2 weeks.
Dima risked his own life, drove into the war zone with a van, took the people, and is now evacuating them to safety. The evacuees said their eyes burned from the sunlight because they didn’t see light for 2 weeks.
When I saw the photo this morning of Dima smiling in satisfaction with these refugees in the back of his van, tears rolled down my face in happiness which didn’t stop for 10 minutes. I don’t like that because it wastes precious time. These lives that would be lost in a matter of time are now saved because of Dima’s quick action. I will see him next week during my mission, and I am proud to call him my friend and volunteer colleague. Dima is a brave hero for humanity.
I must get back to the war zone.