May 2016 - 2nd Ambulance to Ukraine

John has been working with Caritas in Ukraine to arrange to donate a second ambulance to a local charity organisation based in Ivano-Frankivsk providing support to injured solders and displaced families.  

Volunteering and charity work is a relatively new concept in Ukraine and has been forced into existence to meet the needs of the many people being injured in the conflict and their families.  In the early days, the charity was even fundraising for military equipment as the army had been run down to a very poor state.  A large team of volunteers now help the charity and they have a warehouse base in the city where they collect and distribute aid, sell donated goods and create products such as decorated cookies to sell for fundraising.  The volunteers include whole families and city officials.

The situation on the ground - as reported by the local contact at the time of  our first trip to Ukraine:


I do not know where to begin with……Talking about the Ukrainian conflict, that it is rather a full-scale Ukrainian-Russia  war is very difficult and painless. Russia is an invader, attempting to seize the opportunity of a vulnerable Ukraine intruded into the Crimea, than lit the match of disorders and violance in the East of Ukraine.  Ukraine had no choice but to protect its independence and borders, the choice to follow European course and  fight  against total and mean corruption. So many task to be completed in a short period of time. However, nothing is impossible.

When the ousted president Yanukovish fled to Russia, victorious and open-minded Maidan understood, it was just the low start before real challenge, and here it went. Annexed Crimea Peninsular, fuelled clashes of Russia financed militants with Ukrainians in the East, who later on received from terror-founder Russia the Humanitarian aid of multiple rocket launchers, armoured personal carriers, other  weapon of a new generation. Step-by –step Russia created a private rebel army without any national insignia, and of course, dismissed any links or relation whatsoever. And here it went. While the Western country, Russian military machine started moving westward brutally violating all international laws and regulations, occupying new territories and chasing for otherwise thinkers

Nevertheless the Ukraine rested united as never before. Despite the fact of  language differences, educational background, all nation got together in order to resist the Resident Evil, personified by Russia and its auxiliaries –Russia trained and armed military gangs of Novorossia

The Ukrainian Army, that has been systematically ruined by infiltrated KGB agents, together with  Russia oriented traitors, was miraculously rebooted by……..people’s assistance and that of volunteers, who collected, procured and shipped necessary equipment, uniform, night vision sights, supply, even sniper rifles and home upgraded armour busses and van. Truth be told, due to volunteer initiative and national undefeated desire not to be occupied again by trigger happy and blood-thirsty Soviet regime   the Ukrainian has managed to stop a red plaque of the XXI c.

Signed in Minsk the Ceasefire Agreement provided the glimpse of hope that civilians will not hear cannonades in their villages and towns, and only  peaceful solution would be applied  reciprocally.

 Unfortunately, this was a trap, set up by dictator Putin and his puppets Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics. With the help of fake humanitarian convoy the pro-Russian rebels accumulated weapon and ammunition and launched new offensives in the area of the Denetsk Airport and Debaltsevo. A lot of people, including civilians died there.The Ukrainian Army kept to the Minsk Ceasefire Agreement and did not violate it, used the weapon in exclusively for self- defence.

The second and third rounds of Minsk talks just proved that  Russia representatives and their puppets could not be trusted…..Unfortunately, this could not turn the time back, as the majority of villages and towns have been ruined beyond  repair. The infrastructure has been totally destroyed, the inner refugees (more than 1.2 million people) flooded to big cities like Kyiv, Dnipropetrovsk, Zaporizhia  looking for the shelter and psychological assistance. The majority of them lost everything they had – property, possession, business, beloved ones. The Ukrainian Army death toll rises to 1200 soldiers, civilians about 5400 persons.

The occupied territory was transformed into the hell on the earth – human trafficking to Russia, force labour for prisoners and otherwise thinkers, looting, robbery, kidnapping, extortions and tortures

 Just go to bbc  or cnn web sites and you will see these atrocities.

Among other dirty tricks, Russia is using mass media as a strong propaganda tools, inventing the events that discredit the Ukrainian Army and Territorial Defence Battalions.

This is more than a conflict, this is the war against freedom, and the attempt to undermine a current world order and reestablish post  WW2 fake supremacy of decaying Russia.

All we need right now is to get united in order to protect what is ours. Those who can be drafted, please, do so, those, who can donate, please do so,  those  who preach the truth, please do so.

It is a constitutional right and divine gift to protect your country, family, neighbourhood from an  occupant.

Let the Almighty God and the truth be with us until we win!!!!

John collected this Spanish left hand drive ambulance from a dealer in Holland just before the trip.  It is a beauty!

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There were 3 in the team delivering the ambulance.  The ambulance was packed as usual with medical equipment donated from local hospitals with a small amount of space left for sleeping accommodation on the journey!

Before we left to catch a bus to the airport in Poland to get home, the charity organised a meeting with the Caritas priest who had linked John up with the charity needing the ambulance.  We were able to meet and interview a variety of ‘in country refugees’ who were being supported by Caritas as they try to start up new lives in the west of Ukraine, having left almost everything behind.

The finale was a presentation of Ukranian flags with personal messages from the soldiers we had met at the monastery rehab centre in the mountains.

Links to local websites with news of the ambulance donation and situation in Ukraine:

Customs was a little more time consuming this time as we didn’t have the right paperwork for the contents of the ambulance being donated - a long night spent on the Poilish border!

One key difference on this trip was being accompanied by a small film crew who are building up material to make up a documentary about John and his work.  Follow the link for progress on The Ambulance Man

We were met at the border and escorted back to the city by the chief of the medical team working at the front.  

It was a reunion with old friends as we were welcomed at the city by the charity leaders we had met on the previous trip.

We had a few days in Ivano Frankivsk, hosted by the charity and while we were there we were taken to visit a monastery in the mountains where a rehab centre has been developed.  This is increasingly being used for soldiers with PTSD after horrific experiences in the war.  We were able to talk to several of them through translators and were able to hear first hand experiences of the conflict.