War in Ukraine: Volunteer drivers saved Mariupol civilians, and now they are in captivity

At the height of hostilities, despite the lack of humanitarian corridors and the limited number of vehicles, many residents of Mariupol tried to get out of the besieged city. Volunteers who risked their lives to save people who fell into the heat of war helped.

Some of them are described in the Greek edition newsbeast.gr.

Alexander Petrenko took his family out, but could not leave other families with children without help, returning to the city again and again. His words are quoted by the publication ABC:

“I decided to do it because there were women and children left. I also have a mother, I have a companion. These people should not stay there, everything is destroyed. Lives are broken. If we don’t help, people may die.”

Vitaly is another volunteer driver. While most civilian evacuations are successful, there have been instances when volunteer drivers have fallen into the hands of the Russians. The same thing happened with Vitaly. His friend Alevtina Setsova worries about his life and says:

“After leaving Mariupol, Vitaly could stay in a safe place with his family. However, he felt he had to help. He knew that many women and children remained in Mariupol. People without water and food, victims of the bombing. So he decided to help them.”

In April, writes ABC, when Russian artillery shelled the Ukrainian Mariupol, one family decided to flee, walking several miles with three young children to the nearest village. Only thanks to a volunteer driver who crossed the front line, they managed to get out of the territory held by Russia. 58-year-old Luda Lobanova, leaving the minibus in Zaporozhye in early May with her children – 8-year-old Igor, 7-year-old Sofia and 2-year-old Vlad, says with tears in her eyes:

“The driver Zhenya is a saint. There have been so many times that we have been returned. If it wasn’t for Zhenya, we wouldn’t have made it.”

Mariupol has become a symbol of hell in this war. Russian troops destroyed it, preventing the townspeople from evacuating. They opened fire on the “green corridors” many times, so the organized evacuation failed.

Mariupol residents tried to get out of the city on their own, and volunteer drivers came to their aid in this. They carried humanitarian aid to the port city, evacuated people from the destroyed Mariupol – women, children and pensioners – and tried to save their loved ones from the bombing.

And now the Russian military has been holding 33 volunteer drivers captive for more than two months, UP reports. At least two of them need immediate medical attention. At first they were kept in Olenevka, then they were taken to a pre-trial detention center in Donetsk. They are accused of “terrorism” and want to be imprisoned for a term of 5 to 10 years. Relatives have no contact with the drivers.

Absolutely all volunteers in captivity are civilians. There are no military personnel among them. All of them went either for their relatives or loved ones, or rescued residents of Mariupol. They drove because they knew that people were under fire. Risking their lives, they took out the inhabitants of the city and demanded nothing in return. At the moment known about 33 captured drivers. The youngest of the volunteers is 21 years old, the oldest is 59. The families of the volunteers are calling on the world community to help free their loved ones.

A Mariupol volunteer created the first green corridor for the evacuation of Mariupol residents (video from newsbeast.gr.):

From the author. To be honest, I forced myself to watch this video to the end with great difficulty. And only because it should know the content provided to readers. This is war. It’s blood and suffering. It hurts. And people dispassionately discussing on comfortable sofas about who to execute and who to pardon, who is right and who is wrong, simply do not fully understand (I want to believe it) what is happening in reality.

Source link

High-quality journalistic work cannot be free, otherwise it becomes dependent on the authorities or the oligarchs.
Our site is solely funded by advertising money.
Please disable your ad blocker to continue reading the news.
Best regards, editors