It’s scenes like this that ease the pain of those days a little.
Ten yellow-green ambulances drove in a column on Thursday evening on the A4 in Poland. Every car makes room for them, everyone knows what their destination will be: the Ukrainian border.
Theater director Meelis Pai (53) is behind the wheel of a car. In the vehicle behind him is his friend Illimar Truverk (54), he is an architect. Both are from Estonia. Together with the “Rotary Club Estonia”, the two men collected incredible 500,000 euros in the past two weeks and quickly bought 100 ambulances in Finland and Denmark.
The fact that the medical and humanitarian situation in Ukraine continued to deteriorate from day to day – the two of them no longer wanted to sit idly by and watch. Pai to BILD: “It’s the least we can do. It’s our way of bringing a little bit of peace back to Europe – and hopefully to Ukraine. Because of the bad pictures, we all agree that we want to see the Putin regime fail.”
This Thursday they bring the first ten ambulances to the Ukrainian border. Ninety more are to follow in the next few days.
From Tallinn they flew to Denmark with 20 members, where they got into the ambulances they had bought and drove 1,300 kilometers to Przemysl (Prömsel). They were awake 24 hours at a time, but the exhausting journey across Europe paid off: a few meters from the Polish-Ukrainian border, Julia Pawlova-Scorodumova welcomed them.
The 39-year-old Ukrainian will now drive the cars individually across the border to her home country – because male Ukrainians are currently not allowed to leave the country. These first ten out of a hundred ambulances are at least a small ray of hope in the dark times in their homeland.
“We are so grateful for what Meelis and Illimar have done for us. It touches us Ukrainians very much to see how many people come together and help us,” Julia told BILD.
A mother of a Rotary Club member spontaneously sewed 20 scarves in the colors of Ukraine for her 24-hour trip to see Julia. It should be a sign of solidarity, a sign of “we are with you”. Pai continued: “As tragic as the situation is, it also brings us all together. The desire to take down the Putin regime and see it fail unites us all.”
The ambulances finally arrived in Irpin, 27 kilometers northwest of Kyiv, on Friday afternoon. The city has been under constant fire from Russian troops for days. A helper to BILD: “They transport people out here in droves. It’s very valuable. Everyone is so grateful.”
The campaign clearly shows that Europe pulls together in times of crisis.