– Rotting bulletproof vests in Kiev, yogurts with the logos of aid organizations at the fair in Lviv, missing over 200 cars for the army in Zaporozhye, millions of dollars in bribes, thousands of military first aid kits disappearing. This is the dark side of the war in Ukraine, i.e. humanitarian aid trafficking and corruption, which led to open reluctance to provide support to Ukraine, among others. by Republicans in the USA. How deeply it is rooted in the minds of Ukrainians? How difficult it will be to fight her, while it touches the highest peaks of power in the country? Are changes in the law, which Ukraine has been introducing since December, they will completely stop the work of volunteers, and they will only give privileges to a few large government-related organizations? Opinions are strongly divided.
From 1 December, a new law will be in force on the Polish-Ukrainian border. Transport with humanitarian aid will be subject to many regulations, which, in the opinion of, among others,. of the American United Help Ukraine Foundation will completely paralyze the work of volunteers
On a petition to the Ukrainian government, not to tighten border control regulations, It's almost signed 27 thousands of people
Volunteers in Ukraine today are perceived completely differently than at the beginning of the war. Many people think so, that they are schemers, who make money on armed conflict or want to avoid conscription into the army
According to the government, the new law is intended to prevent humanitarian aid from being stolen and wasted. Therefore, it should be sent only to trusted organizations, verified by the authorities or directly to military headquarters. Some front-line soldiers say this is a bad idea, because most of the so-called. humanitarian, it is lost in headquarters or local administrations
Changes in anti-corruption law and on the allocation of humanitarian aid are one of the conditions, that the US has faced against Ukraine, making further financial support from overseas dependent on the effects of these reforms
At. 14 I get a call, that twenty tons of food are waiting for me in Dnipro from one of the international foundations. The condition is this, that I should deliver them to civilians on the front. For example, to Orichowo, Khulajpola, Steponogirsk or other towns near Zaporozhye. The problem is that, that I am in Kiev and seven hours away from Dnipro. Warehouses are only open until. 16. So I call Vitaly, a volunteer friend from Dnipro. I helped him once, so now I'm counting on a friendly hand. I know, that organization, who he works for, has offices at its disposal, warehouses, volunteers and cars. – If I don't make it there in time, this food will be gone - I explain on the phone to the woman recommended by Vitaly, one of the heads of this center.
- No problem. We'll pick it up. But ten tons are left for us - I hear in response. I was speechless. Surprised, I explain, that the food was to go to the front, and not stay in Dnipro. It is worth over a million hryvnia. I can't just give back half a million. “Then we can't help,” I hear in response. The volunteers from Source of Unity from Zaporozhye who work with me are doing their best, to find a truck in an hour and a half, get to Dnipro and pick up the cargo, but it works.
Another time I go to Vinnytsia in central Ukraine. Together with the Polish Future for Ukraine UA Future Foundation, we want to create a magazine there, because it is a logistically good place and relatively safe, also in the event of a sudden evacuation from the country. One of the local volunteers, Sasha, I meet through Polish friends. He invites us home, allows you to spend the night, and even guests at your own wedding. Without any major worries, we leave some help for the military with him: food, uniforms, gloves, Shoes, generator and several computers for children. Everything to store. The notebooks are to be used for online learning.
We pack the cars, to go east. We get a lot of silage free of charge from local farmers, as well as dried vegetables, from which you can quickly cook Ukrainian borscht. – Let him warm our boys in the trenches – people say, willingly supporting the army. After all, their sons serve there, brothers or fathers. When we get to Donbas, Sasha tries to sell this food to soldiers. – It's an attractive price. I can have this and dried fruit after 15-20 hryvnia per parcel. He has to pay me back somehow, at least for the gas, he explains, although I pay for the fuel.
The situation strongly discourages me from Sasha. Especially since he promised to repair our cars, he took money for it, and the cars spread apart just before entering the front line. Thank God, that not in Bachmut. Sasha clearly feels my lack of commitment and drives home in one of my cars, leaving me alone in Donbas. I am asking my volunteer friends from Poland, so that they would go as soon as possible and pick up my things from the warehouse in Winnica. However, it quickly turns out to be true, that most of them are already gone. Apparently Sasha gave it to the soldiers.
A few weeks later, returning through the Vineyard, please him, to return my children's computers. – There was only one computer here. So black – he replies on the phone. He never writes, always rings. That's probably it, so as not to leave traces of the conversation. I'm asking, where is the macbook. – I gave it to my wife. She needed it for work. I guess we won't argue about that 400 euro – says Sasha. However, I demand it, to take the computer from my wife and return it to me. – It's a computer for children. Your wife works and earns well. There is no war in Vinnytsia for now. You can go to the store and buy her a laptop. I do not care, that you gave her a gift. It wasn't for you or her - I'm trying to resolve the situation peacefully. – You spent the night at my house, you were at my wedding, and now you accuse me of stealing? How do you imagine it?? I have to take my wife's computer? Forget it, says Sasha and hangs up.
Three months later he speaks again. This time I am writing to help my brother. He is allegedly the only medic in the unit. That's why they moved him to Pokrovsk. He doesn't have a car, to transport the wounded from the battlefield. This seems strange to me, because I know, that one medic is not enough, to save someone. That's the first thing. Secondly, why they moved the only war medic from the front to a town several dozen kilometers away from the fighting? Please, to provide me with an official letter from the unit commander, that they need a car. After this request, contact ends. I hear many similar stories from volunteers around the world. Soldiers explain it differently.
– If you donate a car or a drone to the unit, the commander will decide, where will it go. More than certain, that I won't get it. They choose the best cars for themselves, and they give us crap. Sometimes they don't include it in the military records at all and put it up for sale on websites - I hear from front-line soldiers. Indeed, the Ukrainian OLX is full of buses and off-road cars on Polish ones, German or British plates. Many of them are painted in military colors, sometimes they are even in camouflage, bo np. foreign volunteers prepared such a car especially for the needs of the army and gave it to them for free. Instead of going to the front, However, sometimes they go to auctions, often at highly inflated prices.
However, the matter looks different in the eyes of some commanders. My friend from Avdiivka, who has been fighting since 2014 r., I get nervous, for example, that many volunteer soldiers want to make money on the so-called. after war. So they ask for very different things, supposedly for private use on the front, and in fact they leave themselves, among others,. cars, professional and expensive equipment, to sell it someday, when they return from the trenches, to start a new one, better life.
In October this year, local newspapers from Poltava wrote about the arrest of a corrupt deputy of the Military Reinforcement Command. During the war, the soldier bought a new car and an apartment worth almost 2 million hryvnia, while his earnings at that time were less than 200 thousand. annually.
Another head of the replenishment command in Odessa bought a luxurious villa in Marbella, Spain, for about four million euros for his retired mother.. For his wife, he brought a Mercedes Benz G63 AMG to Ukraine as humanitarian aid 2022 r., with a value of approx 250 thousand. euro. The money allegedly came from bribes, what the commander charged for it, that he didn't send someone to the front. A similar story happened in Uman. There, the head of the so-called. The war komatu was to demand that local farmers transfer ownership of land or money in exchange for exemption from the obligation to serve in the military.
These and many other cases made it happen, that in the middle of the year, The Ukrainian government decided to dismiss all commanders of reinforcement commands from their positions. - The problem is, that they were neither degraded, nor completely released, just transferred with their degrees to other places, to other units and now they are in command - soldiers fighting on the front explain indignantly. In their opinion, collective responsibility, and not actually drawing consequences was just a media stunt, because there were simply too many scandals, and corruption is widespread.
A few days ago, the Ukrainian border services published a report, from which it follows, that even 30 proc. humanitarian aid disappears just beyond the border of Ukraine and does not even end up in the army, nor to those in need, and simply for trade. It is visible at the border with the naked eye. Kilometer-long queues with tow trucks pulling crashed Teslas in the USA, bmw, Audi or Mercedes. In the trunk, e.g. two boxes filled with wet wipes or diapers and the transport qualifies as humanitarian aid. Nobody checks, where exactly a given "volunteer" is going and why he or she completes the declaration, which is to be granted only to the support of fighting Ukraine. The procedure has been going on for many months and makes it very difficult to provide real help, because many times real volunteers have to stand in queues for many hours behind dishonest traders.
This is noticed, among others, by journalist and volunteer Karolina Baca-Pogorzelska. – Unfortunately, it often looks like this, that we stand for hours on the Polish-Ukrainian border. Most often, when we return to Poland from Ukraine. There is no discount for volunteers. Even for these, who return from Donbas or other dangerous places. That's why I always feel sick just thinking about crossing the border. Recently I argued about the fast track just because of the order, I received for supporting Ukraine, says Baca-Pogorzelska.
Life for volunteers in Ukraine has been more difficult for some time now. That's largely why, that their perception among Ukrainians themselves has changed. – I even stopped telling anyone, that I am a volunteer, because I'm ashamed. Most of the people, when he hears, that I am moving cars for the army, he asks immediately, how much do I earn from this?. Nobody wants to believe, that I do it completely for free. A volunteer is someone now, who makes money in the war, who's talking, steals or avoids the army in this way - says Irena, one of the Ukrainian volunteers cooperating with, among others,. with the Polish UA Future foundation.
She is echoed by Rafał Roszkiewicz from another organization, Pogoń Ruska. – I get the impression from conversations with some Ukrainians, that for them the word "volunteer" is simply a paid employee, who brings aid from abroad and is therefore exempt from military service. I don't know, what does this have to do with volunteering?. You wonder, how is this possible, that during the war, some clever people want to make money from humanitarian aid? You find this reprehensible and scandalous. And rightly so. But let me explain, why is this happening?. The example comes from above. Why try for free, as the authorities show at every step, that this aid can be brazenly stolen? That you can give summer uniforms and re-invoice them as winter ones and pay three times as much. That you can take from Warren Buffet's son, Howard two million 700 thousand. dol. on civilians in Avdiivka and steal it. And how can the authorities?, everyone can do it, concludes the volunteer.
“Politics does not matter to the court”?
This year, information circulated in the media, that the Ukrainian Ministry of National Defense "had irregularities" in tenders, among others. for the purchase of uniforms for Ukrainian soldiers or food to equip the army. In total, approximately 100 million dollars. The Minister of Defense of Ukraine, Oleksiy Reznikov, who was politically responsible for this "accident", continued to hold the highest position in the Ministry of Defense for many months - to the astonishment of public opinion.. It was only canceled in September 2023 r. and speculations immediately arose, that he could become Ukraine's ambassador to Great Britain. However, the newspaper "Ukraińska Pravda" wrote recently, that "although there is no evidence of Reznikov's corruption, "The political situation in Great Britain is not favorable for this nomination at the moment.".
The case of Vsevolod Knyazev was also famous, former chairman of the Supreme Court of Ukraine. Anti-corruption services reportedly detained him red-handed, when he accepted almost half a million dollars in bribe from one of the businessmen, whose name was not revealed. The judge is suspected of corruption activities involving a total amount of law 3 million dollars. In total, two judges were detained, and houses were searched as far as 18. The case is ongoing, but since May there has been little talk about her.
One of the greatest thinkers of the ancient Far East, Chinese general Sun Zi, he has already written 500 lat p.n.e. in his work entitled. “The Art of War”, that “there, where the war is going on, prices are rising. This was the case during World War II, this is the case in Ukraine now, m.in. in Kupiansk in the Kharkov region. The city was occupied for almost half a year. The Russians got there in a few hours, because it almost borders Putin's country. When Kupiansk was liberated in the fall 2022 r., the destruction in the city was enormous. Many buildings will never be recreated. Among these, who suffered, was, among others,. local hospital. legend has it, that just after the liberation, Americans came to Kupiańsko, who proposed, that the facility will be rebuilt free of charge, as part of humanitarian aid. Several people told me, that Dmytro Liubot, a deputy of the president's Servant of the People party, did not agree to the proposal. Why? – Together with his father, who, by the way, turned the city over to "racists" as the head of the district administration and cooperated with them, They ran a family business before the war. They sold building materials, they had huge squads. Now that people want to patch up their homes a little bit, they sell everything at greatly inflated prices, sometimes three, four times more expensive than before the war. Moreover, this company is supposedly supposed to rebuild the hospital, says Olena, one of Kupiańska's residents and a local volunteer. I hear the same story from several other people.
He is not the only politician from President Volodymyr Zelensky's party, which isn't talked about very well. Anatoli Hunko was caught accepting a bribe of... 85 thousand. dol. The interesting thing about this case is this, that it was Deputy Hunko who headed the commission of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine to investigate corruption in state-owned enterprises, institutions and organizations of the National Academy of Agricultural Sciences. According to investigators, it was for helping to lease the land to the Academy that Hunko received a bribe.
Corruption affects almost no one in Ukraine. The scheming of former president Viktor Yanukovych and his pro-Russian Party of Regions was obvious. Everyone in the Donetsk region remembers the wild privatization of the years 90. Selling off factory assets, mines and many enterprises in Donbas and causing them to collapse, such as e.g. it happened in Konstantynówka. Many people talk about the personal involvement of the current Ukrainian philanthropist and billionaire Rinat Akhmetov in these stories. Today he runs one of the largest foundations, that help Ukraine in its war with Russia, although for years he supported the economy in occupied Donetsk, and thus in the separatist and pro-Russian so-called. Donetsk People's Republic. He was supposed to change his approach after the Russians occupied Mariupol and destroyed the Azovstal plant belonging to him.
We will have to live with the oligarchs in Ukraine for many more years. So far, only Ihor Kolomoysky - perhaps the most famous of them - has been put behind bars. He was arrested in September 2023 r. for two months, and the prosecutor's office accuses him, that in years 2013-2020 he was supposed to move out of Ukraine about 14 million dollars. To get out of jail, the oligarch would have to pay a deposit almost equivalent to this sum. Kolomoisky is considered the political father of Volodymyr Zelensky, because he owned the television, which broadcast the cabaret program of the current president of Ukraine and strongly supported his campaign as a staunch opponent and rival of Petro Poroshenko.
As if all this wasn't enough, dark clouds are gathering over President Zelensky himself. A few weeks ago, almost silently, Ukrainian journalists described how very close associates of the Ukrainian legend made money during the war. The case gained publicity thanks to the media, what are in Poroshenko's hands. The president's well-paid people include:. Alexei Kiryushchenko, director of the cabaret program "Sługa Narodu", who received lucrative orders to supply electricity to Kiev, and also has shares in companies producing drones for the army. Film producer Artem Kuliubayev also entered the drone business, but apart from that, he also creates patriotic and propaganda films. For three productions of this type, he received a total remuneration of approximately half a million euros. We described the case on Onet a few days ago.
The US says corruption in Ukraine is enough
These cases, as well as those shrouded in mystery and missing in Zaporozhye over 260 cars for the army, stories about disappearing rifles from the Polish Ministry of National Defense to the Ukrainian Ministry, which were reportedly later found back on the black market in Poland, unofficial information about robbed customs warehouses on the Polish side, from which almost half a thousand drones were to disappear in one night, these are stories, which cause great concern overseas. In the middle of this year, the United States demanded from the Ukrainian government, to finally deal with corruption and, among other things,. made further aid for Ukraine conditional on these reforms. – It will probably be like this, that Ukraine will have to deal with this matter first, and only then will the money tap be turned on again. A lot of Americans, including me, is concerned, what happens to our taxpayers' money. This issue is particularly raised by Republicans, but I think, that each of us is seriously considering this, an American lawyer associated with the White House tells me.
Fighting corruption is one of the assumptions of the recovery plan, which the Americans have been implementing in Ukraine since the end of September. Special envoys from the USA arrived in Kiev, who are to watch over it, how "Uncle Joe's dollars" are spent. So the wind of change blew, strong enough, that you will most likely wipe out small volunteers, not officially related to any larger organization. Because since 1 of December 2023 r. a new law on the provision of humanitarian aid will apply in Ukraine. On a petition to the principals, not to take such drastic steps, It's almost signed 27 thousand. people. It's not just individual volunteers who are terrified, without legal or accounting support, but also soldiers and medics at the front.
– To, what they want to introduce from December, will make, that we will have nothing. Our entire hospital, pharmacy, our clothes, medicines, we have bandages and many other things from volunteers from all over the world. If they stop coming, so I do not know, how we will cope. I don't know, have they gone completely crazy? Let's deal with the "racists" first, and then we will go to clean up Kiev - say many soldiers fighting on the front.
– I live close to the capital now, but I'm from Bachmut. I have a warm place here, food, clothes. We get everything from Polish volunteers. Volunteers also took me out of the city during heavy fighting, and it was really terrible there. Ten, who wasn't, you won't believe it, says Tatiana, who found shelter in one of the container towns built by the Polish government.
– Is the war in Ukraine over?? According to the authorities, humanitarian aid is no longer needed? The new law is a tragedy for many organizations, for volunteers, who brought aid and many much-needed things to Ukraine, like food for civilians, clothes for basements. Many of them will not be able to come to Ukraine with any support, says Anna Yabluchanska from United Help Ukraine, one of the largest American foundations, which has been helping Ukraine since the beginning of the February invasion 2022.
New law on the border with Ukraine. What is it about?
– I will definitely not go to Ukraine again – says Krzysztof from Wrocław, who himself evacuated several hundred people to Poland at the beginning of the war. Later, when needs have changed, almost every week, On his weekend off, he loaded the bus, what he managed to collect and went east to help children, military or sick people. – It's unimaginable to me, to ask for it, to help someone. That's not what it's about. For me it's over, says the volunteer. What is this about and where does this outrage come from??
From 1 of December 2023 r. new guidelines for the transportation of humanitarian aid across the border come into force in Ukraine. To be more precise, the simplified procedure ceases to apply, which was introduced in February 2022 r., to facilitate the delivery of support. We heard about these changes last year, and the rumors said, that the presidential couple is particularly keen on this, in whose hands is the large United24 Foundation. Today, there is also talk of a strong lobby of giants of the humanitarian market such as the Red Cross or Doctors Without Borders. Last year, however, this would have been too drastic a move, that's why it was decided to introduce the changes now. – I didn't see the International Red Cross at the front. However, I saw them in the most expensive hotel in Kiev. They said, that they will not go east, because there is no room there, to eat well or spend the night - says one of the American volunteers, whom I meet in Kramatorsk.
Nevertheless, regardless of, who is the originator of the new regulations and how much truth there is in the rumors about lobbyists, volunteers and organizations, who will want to continue helping Ukraine, will have to officially register their transports through an electronic system and obtain a special number authorizing them to use the privileged path. The list will need to describe exactly the type of goods transported, because not everything, what has so far been sent to Ukraine, will be subject to humanitarian aid law. And this raises considerable concerns among volunteers, bo np. it will be possible to transport petrol or diesel power generators across the border, but special batteries, which he needs e.g. army, are not on the list. Cars will be checked more thoroughly and returned, if something doesn't add up. Food past its expiry date, with a close expiry date, whether old clothes will no longer be allowed to enter Ukraine. The transport of medicines will also be subject to greater control. This is what Rafał Roszkiewicz from Pogoń Ruska notes, It's not the worst change at all.
– Transporting crap was and is a big problem. 80 proc. gifts are often disinfectants and anti-Covid masks. Nobody wants to take them in Ukraine. And hundreds of millions of tons have already been produced. Nobody wants that, but it looks nice in the photos, because it takes a lot. Ukrainian foundations are happy to take it, it fills their entire car, they can write, that they have brought humanitarian aid and will therefore be able to continue entering the Schengen area. I don't know, where does it go, but probably to the trash bin, because I don't know any hospital in Ukraine, who would like it.
In addition to these types of changes, volunteers will probably need an accountant or lawyer, who will prepare these new documents for the border. Additionally, Not everyone will be able to accept support in Ukraine. A register of organizations or military units will be created, who will be eligible to receive humanitarian aid. There are many questions here too, because it may significantly limit the possibilities of action. – Rumors say, that among several foundations there will be presidential United24, Prytuly Foundation, also indirectly related to the government and the Armed Forces of Ukraine, and several others, says Julia, one of the volunteers from Poltava. However, there is no confirmation of these fears yet. – We have to wait until December and then we will see, what we will be able to do next, and what not to do, adds the Ukrainian volunteer, whom I meet in Kiev.
– In my opinion, these are good changes – says Sasza, soldier 8. Ukrainian Special Forces Regiment. – Finally, all these scammers will disappear, fraudsters and thieves, who decided to make money on the humanitarian side and more aid will go directly there, where it should be, i.e. to us, for example. We have never had a problem with documents. Sometimes you had to wait a while for them, but the stamp is there, there is a signature and there is no discussion.
However, not everyone is of this opinion. – If you need to document the help you received, this is Misha, Sasha or Volodya will receive absolutely nothing, because they don't have a stamp. Stamps are available only in bars, so all help can only be left with the commander. And we know well, that most corruption occurs in the headquarters. One for me, one for my son, three for colleagues and for ordinary soldiers, people like me, there will be groats and potatoes - says one of the soldiers from Bachmut.
There is also an answer to this in the new law. An entity or organization, which will receive help from abroad, will have to settle it within 30 days to report on it, how she used it and where exactly it ended up. This is to prevent stories like this from happening in the first place, such as rotting tons of food in Kiev, widely reported earlier this year in the Ukrainian press. Hundreds of tons of humanitarian aid were found in the private warehouses of one of the companies, including:. From Poland, Japan, Great Britain or Azerbaijan, which reached Ukraine in spring 2022 r. and it was never distributed. Security guards from that warehouse, who informed the police about it, they described, that rats were running through the food parcels. Bulletproof vests were rotting, sappers' suits, medicine, stretcher, household chemicals, hygiene products. All in all, the goods, which would fit around 25 trucks.
Thanks to the new law, such history will not happen again, as with the infamous transport of the so-called military first aid kits. IFAK from the American organization United Ukrainian American Relief Committee. In July this year, the scandal came to light, in which the Lviv Military Administration may be indirectly involved. Goods worth over a million dollars went missing in Lviv., collected by American volunteers and sent to Ukraine at their expense. The case is currently under investigation, but missing 10 thousands of first aid kits have not been found yet. – Do you understand?, what almost is 10 thousands of IFAKs? These are thousands of people saved. You can't just lose it like that, says Nestor Zaricznyj from the United Ukrainian American Relief Committee, quoted by Lviv media.
– Like pan, what city is the most corrupt in Ukraine? – an officer I know from Kiev asks me. I'm shooting, that Vinnytsia, Mykolaiv, Kramatorsk or Kharkov, because I know, that there have also been many strange incidents related to humanitarian aid there. - NO. This is Lviv. Because everything went there at the beginning of the war and the chaos was so huge, that it was easiest to hide. The authorities benefited the most from this. The local mayor is even called “Andriy 10 proc. Sadowy” – comments my interlocutor, whose word I have to take, because I don't have any evidence for it. – After the war, we will sort it out. Corruption is a thing, which is destroying our country from the inside and we will definitely end it - he adds.
Sweetfocia from Lviv, and there's a war far away
Fairs in Lviv and small shops, have long been full of clearly humanitarian goods. At the beginning of the war, you could buy helmets there, bulletproof vests, military boots, uniforms and everything, whatever your heart desires. However, effective actions of the SBU stopped the practice to some extent, but not completely, which is confirmed by the observations of Pogoń Ruska. – I highly recommend the fish market in Lviv. There is a dairy section and you can buy yogurt cakes, what you want. Raspberry with the logo of the Polish Humanitarian Action? Strawberry with a Caritas sticker? Color to choose from, and the price is affordable. In a roadside pub near Rivne I got milk from Biedronka for my coffee. This milk is not sold anywhere outside Poland, so on 100 proc. it went there as humanitarian aid and was sold on. My friend found food products in the store, on which his organization's logo was glued, which he donated to a Ukrainian foundation the day before - we read in a post on social media.
I, on the other hand, remember, that humanitarian aid was also traded in Bakhmut, but for completely different reasons. Unlike Lviv, there was a real war going on there. With tanks, planes and bombs. This is why, if someone got several pairs of socks, and he had too many of them, he sold them or exchanged them for canned goods. Back in January 2023 r., you could find teas at the makeshift market, sweets and food from all over the world. For a bag full of cans with food, the local villagers would chop firewood for elderly people or carry their groceries, and that's how life went on at the front..
However, Lviv is relatively safe, with fully functioning pubs, open shopping malls, street musicians, for a long time, just like Tarnopol, or the mentioned Rivne or Lutsk and other cities in western Ukraine, were crowded with volunteers from all over the world. Many were simply afraid to go further, and wanted to help at all costs. Others only cared about color photography for sponsors. Today, some organizations also choose to drop off goods in Lviv, saving on fuel and logistics, and style magazine photos: “somewhere in Ukraine” they look sexy enough anyway, to be featured on Instagram with a beautiful description.
Unfortunately, As a result, a lot of equipment did not and does not end up there, where it is really needed. – At the beginning of the war, when I was returning to the country from Poland, to fight for the homeland - says Sasha from the special forces - I saw these "terminators" at checkpoints. New boots, full gear, ballistic glasses, top-class bulletproof vests, helmets, for a fight with Putin himself. I asked, could they give us some back?, because we are going to the front, and there are boys running in Adidas sneakers. Unfortunately, the bastards always refused.
So a lot of help went to Lviv, which could be well shown on TV. Like for example 10 ambulances to evacuate the wounded from the battlefield, which she helped deliver, among others:. PiS politician Beata Kempa together with doctor Paweł Wróblewski. Polish Television generously showed materials on this topic, even in "Wiadomości". Wróblewski's joyful words could be heard, who was happy, that ten super-equipped ambulances for evacuation from the front "are already rushing around Lviv". Power generator to Lviv, The president of Wrocław, Jacek Sutryk, was also riding on the wave of popularity, but the politician himself ultimately did not arrive. Paweł Kukiz and many other people from the front pages of newspapers were also there, when helping Ukraine was still trendy and could raise support levels.
Meanwhile, in besieged Bakhmut, my conversation with medics from the local field hospital goes like this. – Maybe you don't have anywhere to get a respirator or an ambulance stretcher? We got these two, old machines. They're still driving, but they don't have any equipment, so basically they stand there, and they would be very useful. There are about twenty of the same ones in the parking lot in Kramatorsk. Some of them are useless, because these are crap brought here, I don't know why, and some have no equipment at all, so we have no way to use them - Dima asks me, one of the doctors here, lighting a cigarette. Something is constantly exploding nearby. The hospital in Bachmut survived almost until the end of the fighting for the city. Bombarded many times, but he saved people for months. We finally delivered the stretchers and respirators for the ambulances to the doctors with the UA Future Foundation a few weeks later. In Lviv they assured us, that there is no point in going so far, because everything is there.
- Despite everything. Despite all this corruption, which is so loud about and which has recently become so much media, I believe in Ukraine, says the director of one of the largest international foundations, operating since the beginning of the conflict with 2022 r., but asks to remain anonymous. – I worked in Uganda, in Thailand, in South America and many other countries around the world, where corruption exists and comparing it, what is happening in Ukraine, I'll be honest, that the problem here is much smaller anyway. Huge difference, that I see and what gives me faith in this country and motivation to continue to act is this, that people are talking about corruption in Ukraine and they want to do something about it. People condemn her, soldiers at the front know, that this is a problem and they are not silent. In highly corrupt parts of the world, we would never hear about bribes or read about them in the press. This is a very difficult task for President Zelensky, but also a huge opportunity for the country. Contrary to appearances, thanks to martial law, the authorities have enormous opportunities to fight corruption. If the country functioned in a normal reality, then someone could only be thrown out of office, because he steals. It wouldn't be easy, because often such a person has great influence. Now the president can use an argument, that such a person harms the homeland in war, so he can even be considered a collaborator. That's part of why I think, that it will be fine.