Following in the footsteps of the counter offensive Aug/Sept

Izyum, Eastern Ukraine

I was part of a three-vehicle convoy delivering aid supplies into Izyum following the removal of Russian troops by the Ukrainian Military. At this time Izyum was still a locked-down city, so getting access to help assist the local population was not easy. You either had to be invited or know someone in government to make this happen. Thankfully I was with Tilde Addenbrooke, whose “little black book” once again became invaluable.

We arrived to Izyum well after curfew, as it took us a long time to get into the city, through the heavily guarded check point. We passed a litany of destroyed armour (most of it Russian.). It seriously took us a 50-mile detour around destroyed bridges and unpassable roads just to get to the city.

Prior to heading to Izyum, Tilde and I decided to purchase essential supplies & some less essential stuff to put any kind of smile on the faces of children who we knew had been held hostage along with their parents in the city since the beginning of the war. We made up bags of provisions for the adults and separate bags for the children, containing colouring pencils, pages from colouring books, toys, and sweets.

We stayed in our respective vehicles overnight and were woken at just before 6am to a long queue of people, who in seeing our vehicles came to ask if we had any food to spare. It was heart-breaking to witness these polite, self-reliant, proud people queuing at our vehicles, begging for food.

Making the supply run was Tilde, Boris, Steena and myself. Journalist and author Alex Voronov joined us on the delivery.

Izyum Sept 2022

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